Last week, Blitzen Trapper unleashed their 8th studio album, All Across This Land. After some fascinating swings across genres, the band has delivered ten songs grounded in the warm, sun-drenched folk-rock that’s always underpinned their sound. Frontman Eric Earley says his songwriting has become more narrative-focused. In the song “Cadillac Road,” for example, he tells the mythical story of an old abandoned logging town called Valsetz. After more than a decade of touring around the country, the band feels their lyrics have become more accessible, as well.
“When you live in Portland, you lose track of what the vast majority of Americans look at as life,” said pianist Marty Marquis. “The more that we’ve gone out and found what our national audience is like, the more our songs have become a bit more universal.”
From a musical standpoint, reviewers often talk about Blitzen Trapper’s love affair with classic folk rock — artists like Bob Dylan and Neil Young. The new record doesn’t contradict that. But Earley pushed back on the idea that the band trades on nostalgia.
“Nowadays, ‘classic sound’ means you just play real instruments, instead of drum machines and samples,” said Earley. “It means to actually physically play music. Top 40 music doesn’t utilize real instruments anymore.”
Blitzen Trapper played this new set live in the studio at OPB, before heading out on a national tour. They’ll be in Oregon at HiFi Music Hall in Eugene November 9th, and finish their tour November 28th at Revolution Hall in Portland. Watch their session performances above, and download mp3s of the songs below.
Audio recording and mixes: Steven Kray, with assistance from William Ward
Videographers: Alex Crowson, Sam Smith, Jarratt Taylor
Editor: Jarratt Taylor
Producer: David Christensen