Portland, Oregon folk-rock band Blitzen Trapper keep roving across the rock ‘n’ roll roots landscape on their eighth album, All Across This Land.
The versatile group, led by singer/songwriter Eric Earley, has emerged as a populist identity over the years. They plunge into folk, roots, progressive and classic rock with convincing performances that ring true.
All Across This Land shifts into a late 1970s’ fusion of Bruce Springsteen/Tom Petty heartland rock ‘n’ roll.
It’s a logical step for a group that’s naturally comfortable in Americana roots.
Cadillac Roazd is an obvious nod to this tradition. It merges the drama of working class heroes with the horizon gazing of restless spirits bent on moving on.
Blitzen Trapper are risk takers but they still play it safe. Earlier songs like the fuzzy folk tale of Furr and the twisted saga of Black River Killer are different sides of the coin but they’re based in early folk/mountain tunes.
Across the Road is a revisiting of these acoustic ballads. The band captures an ambiance that’s undeniably evocative.
Rock and roll is a form with deep roots that renews itself inevitably despite recurrent predictions of doom. The band has albums that each have their own identity but don’t stray from the base Blitzen Trapper sound. On Across This Land they nail the classic singer/songwriter sound and do some free range roaming in that genre.
Dean Gordon Smith reviews the latest music releases for The Morning every Friday.