Last Friday we had the privilege of watching the powerful and talented Laura Gibson perform at our pub in Bend. Laura’s performance was the last stop on our monthly First Friday Art Walk and she helped us kick off the release of our well-loved Twilight Summer Ale. Laura’s roots run deep in our own backyard: she spent this past February at Caldera in the mountains of Central Oregon, writing and reflecting on her work. Last summer we traveled with her out to Smith Rock to record the third installment of Deschutes River Recordings, a unique partnership between Northwest musicians and the Deschutes River Conservancy to create songs by the river, for the river. We were thrilled to welcome her back to Bend to perform the latest from her album La Grande (aptly named after a small town in Eastern Oregon).
This week we released the second episode of Deschutes River Recordings, featuring Blitzen Trapper’s Eric Earley. Eric performed “Up on Cripple Creek” right along the Metolius River, a tributary of the Deschutes, located not far from our home base in Bend, Oregon.
Eric, a native Oregonian and Portland resident, has always had close ties to the river. Tucked away in Oregon’s southeast corner is the Donner und Blitzen River, the inspiration for his band’s name. German soldiers crossed the remote river during a thunderstorm and aptly named it Donner und Blitzen (thunder and lightning). Before his success, Eric bounced around different rehearsal spaces, staying with friends, and was, as he describes, “basically homeless.” Often, he found himself wandering along the banks of the Willamette River in Portland, which inspired the story for “Black River Killer” off the album Furr. The catchy ballad recounts a murderer’s journey from the Sunset Strip up to Oregon. In another song off the band’s latest album American Goldwing, Eric croons, “I’m weary from this river, it flows far, but never nearer to my home,” challenging the notion of the river as place of respite.
Categories —American Goldwing, Bend, Blitzen Trapper, Brandi Carlile, Bravely Done, Deschutes Brewery, Deschutes River, Deschutes River Conservancy, deschutes river recordings, Ear Trumpet Labs, eric earley, Furr, Metolius River, NORTH, pitchfork, Portland, The Head and the Heart, Film, Landmarks, Bravely Done
Do you ever seek out the river (or lake or ocean) to relax and unwind? Join us to celebrate our partnership with the Deschutes River Conservancy by snapping a photo of your favorite body of water. Upload the photo to Instagram with the hashtag #fortheriver.
Over the last six months we’ve been working hard to create the Deschutes River Recordings, a unique partnership between musician and cause. We’re dedicated to keeping the Deschutes River healthy and clean and to supporting independent music in the Northwest, so this summer we invited Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats, Laura Gibson, and Eric Earley of Blitzen Trapper to Central Oregon to perform river-inspired songs along our beloved waterway.
We’re incredibly proud of this collaboration and we’re thrilled to present you with the first in the Deschutes River Recording series: Eric D. Johnson performing “Ballad of Easy Rider.” The original song, performed by The Byrds and written by Roger McGuillan and Bob Dylan, is upbeat and lighthearted, but Eric slows way down on his epic ballad. Contemplative and almost spiritual, this song echoes our deep connection and respect for the river.