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Blitzen Trapper's rise to fame has been nontraditional, to say the least. According to frontman Eric Earley, who writes most of its music, the band was homeless up through the 2008 tour for its breakout fourth album, Furr. This was a year after the "reluctant success," as Earley called it, of Wild Mountain Nation. The band's albums aren't so much folk-rock as experimental country, and coming out of the folk-revival hotspot that is Portland, Ore., this young quintet has had plenty of chances to experiment.
The group's newest album, American Goldwing, spans emotions, sounds and entire genres, but despite the range of styles it encompasses, it's consistent in its lyrical complexity. Earley is a talented songwriter and — with the help of bandmates Erik Menteer, Brian Adrian Koch, Michael VanPelt and Marty Marquis — he's created a powerful, elegant, eclectic album.
Listen to Blitzen Trapper's appearance on World Cafe here.