The Portland, Ore., band Blitzen Trapper makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.V. Led by singer-songwriter Eric Earley, the group has followed an unconventional path; Earley tells host Larry Groce that prior to the band's breakout, he spent a couple years living as a squatter in a rehearsal space.
Blitzen Trapper's 2007 album Wild Mountain Nation was met with great enthusiasm by critics, and its 2008 follow-up Furr popped up on countless year-end Top 10 lists. The band's sound has ranged from twangy folk to trippy prog-rock, but for the new American Goldwing, Blitzen Trapper has put aside the spacey keyboards for straight-ahead country-rock. The result evokes '70s West Coast icons like The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Grateful Dead and The New Riders of the Purple Sage.
This segment originally aired on December 15, 2011.