Blitzen Trapper is duly renowned for its sense of adventure. The Portland, Ore., group is nominally a country or folk band, complete with the requisite drawl from singer Eric Earley, pedal-steel guitar and golden harmonies. But that twang is accompanied by spacey keyboards, prog-rock guitar solos and a healthy dose of experimentation. Since 2007's breakthrough Wild Mountain Nation, each Blitzen Trapper album has been exciting and surprising, even as the group has toned down some of its past eccentricities.
Last month marked the release of American Goldwing, Blitzen Trapper's sixth album in eight years; it's a record about lost youth and that classically American sense of freedom on the open road. Fittingly enough, Blitzen Trapper is one of the hardest-working bands around — its natural home seems to be the highway it addresses in many of its songs. The band recently performed at Utopia Fest, a quasi-DIY music festival held in the tiny West Texas town of Utopia, before heading to Baton Rouge, La., the next night, some 550 miles in the opposite direction. But all those miles just serve as more inspiration for the group.
In the midst of all this traveling, Blitzen Trapper stopped by KUT 90.5 FM in Austin to play a few songs and talk with KUT's Matt Reilly.