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Blitzen Trapper, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2012

Blitzen Trapper performs at the Newport Folk Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR
Blitzen Trapper performs at the Newport Folk Festival.

Its folk-tinged, ramshackle rock music may be firmly rooted in the 1970s, but Blitzen Trapper is no mere throwback: Singer, songwriter and bandleader Eric Earley synthesizes everything from the chug-a-lug blues-rock of The Allman Brothers to the smoothest sounds of '70s singer-songwriter pop, and infuses both with vividly poetic storytelling and CSNY-style harmonies. The result goes down easy, but then its words and hairpin turns hit with jarring urgency.

Blitzen Trapper's sixth album, last year's American Goldwing, finds the group settling ever further into a breezy classic-rock vibe; sonically, it could have emerged from a dusty record rack in 1971. But sharp edges poke out, as the Portland, Ore., band finds ways to indulge its gift for psychedelic freakouts — all within the confines of songs that rarely exceed four minutes. Here, Blitzen Trapper performs as part of the 2012 Newport Folk Festival, recorded live on Friday, July 27 in Newport, R.I.

Set List:

  • "Astronaut"
  • "Fletcher"
  • "Black River Killer"
  • "Furr"
  • "Big Black Bird"
  • "Street Fighting Sun"
  • "Wayward Son / Miss Spiritual Tramp USA"
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)