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.