Blitzen Trapper & The Head and the Heart

Most of the concerts I go to, I don’t pay for. Usually, I’m working in some way. Actually, I’m usually playing in the show. Well not yesterday. I paid cash for a show and was happy to do it.

I have this thought that a band should be better live than they are on record. I mean they should always play clean. But when they play live, they should give the crowd more than just a live performance of their record. Bands that play the solo sections the same way every time are the obvious perpetrators, but it’s more than just that.

I’m glad to say that this show was not a disappointment. To be honest, the only thing I remember about the opening act was the name of the guy: Bryan John Appleby. He was folky and good, but … that’s all I remember. I didn’t even get a picture of him.

We went to this show because of a band called Blitzen Trapper, which my brother introduced me to. In case you don’t know Blitzen Trapper, this is one of the songs that really got me into them, and my wife’s favourite song of theirs:

I would describe them as folk rock, but near the end of their set they said they were going to whip out a little “country” on us, “because that’s just who we are.” I had never really thought of them as alternative country, but I guess that might be a better descriptor. Either way, they rock.

Of all the concert pictures I have taken, this is one of my favourites.

Of all the concert pictures I have taken, this is one of my favourites.

My only wish is that they weren’t so obviously wasted while they were performing. I like it when bands are actually a little bit coherent of the crowd and interact a bit more, even though they did better than most.

One of the reasons I like The Head and the Heart so much is because they don’t stick to a formula when writing songs. If you go back to the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, it seemed like every song followed the same pattern. A verse (or two), chorus, verse, chorus, a bridge or solo or both, and a couple more choruses to finish it. But The Head and The Heart don’t worry about it. They’ll move from one song to a different one musically, but decide to stick them together lyrically. It’s great. It makes me remember that I also don’t have to stick to the old verse-chorus structure.

And if you know anything about me and my musical tastes, one thing I am a sucker for is great harmonies. And that’s one of the big reasons I love The Head and the Heart. If you haven’t heard them, check them out. The animation’s a bit weird, but whatever:

Like Blitzen Trapper, The Head and the Heart were a bit stoned (especially Charity Rose), but they were a ton more engaging.

As it turns out, we had heard their big concert closer, “Rivers and Roads” at the end of one of my wife’s favourite TV shows, Chuck.


Also, they got together at open mics. So while I still like playing with Viewers Like You, we aren’t doing a whole lot right now. I haven’t really put much thought into trying to get into something new yet, but when I do, I have to remember that some great stuff can come of solo musicians getting together.

If you want to know more about The Head and the Heart, BYUtv did an interview with them and recorded bits of the show, which you can watch here.


One thought on “Blitzen Trapper & The Head and the Heart

  1. Pingback: I’ll Soon be Coming Home | Another American Audio-logue

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