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MUSIC BOX: Ease mud season with Blitzen Trapper, Sera Cahoone
JACKSON HOLE, WYO - Folk meets Western themes, rock ‘n’ roll and Northwest Americana when Portland’s Blitzen Trapper rolls into the Pink Garter next Wednesday. The show is one
amongst a short run through the region of seven shows, and a follow-up to the packed house they enjoyed in March of last year.
The sextet went on to tour in good company in 2012, joining forces with Brandi Carlile, Wilco, The Head And The Heart, Sydney Wayser, Sarah Jaffe, Dawes and Parson Redheads while promoting 2012’s American Goldwing. For the last few months, it appears the band has been off of the road and in the studio. No news of a release date has surfaced. In celebration of the band’s 10th anniversary, they released a thousand vinyl copies of its eponymous 2003 debut album for Record Store Day last month.
Aside from the Southern rocking and heavy riffing of American Goldwing, much of Blitzen Trapper’s studio recordings align with a quiet intensity beckoned by an ever-present acoustic guitar. That sound is also stamped by the heavy, dark clouds of the Northwest and the mind of frontman/vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Eric Earley, who grew up in the quiet capital town of Salem, Ore. His focused, introspective writing is buttered with interesting melodic arrangements that sometimes take off-kilter, yet presentable routes. The schizophrenic nature that breathes hard rock to delicate acoustic to Americana-on-mushrooms is part of Blitzen Trapper’s appeal – a little bit of Trapper for everyone.
Enough about the guys. What about the lady on this bill, right? Sera Cahoone has long been on my radar and it’s a pleasure when a bill is built as such. A Sub Pop labelmate since her 2008 debut Only as the Day, Seattle-based Cahoone also mixes classic country-Western with indie rock within a space that breaths with a patient, broad stroke.
Cahoone’s interesting musical history includes starting out as a drummer at age 12, eventually moving to Seattle at age 21. She drummed for many artists there, including Carrisa’s Wierd, Los Angeles musician Patrick Park, and on Band of Horses’debut, Everything All the Time.
In September, she released Deer Creek Canyon, which ruminates on the gravitational pull of home. Titled for the Colorado canyon near Littleton where she came of age and where her mother still lives, Deer Creek Canyon delves deeper and presents her voice in a stronger context than on her past albums. Where her previous efforts explored the complicated throes of dark emotions, this album is more richly textured.
Cahoone spent early 2013 on the road with fellow Americana darling, Kathleen Edwards, and according to her blog, it was “…an amazing tour! Yet, very challenging in so many ways. The van broke down four times, we made it through winter storm Nemo, we almost died in Fargo from the scary roads, I got super sick, I almost got in a fight with a crazy lady in Philly and right after knocked my toiletry bag into the toilet, etc. But it was 100 percent worth it, that’s for sure!”
Blitzen Trapper plays at 9 p.m., Wednesday May 22, at Pink Garter Theatre. Sera Cahoone Trio opens. Tickets are $15/advance or $18/day-of-show at PinkGarterTheatre.com or at the door.