The good people at Deschutes River Recordings (a subdivision of the enviable Deschutes Brewery) out in Oregon are back with episode two of their fundraiser for the Deschutes River Conservancy. This time they are accompanied by Eric Earley of Blitzen Trapper and Denver for a spot on performance of The Band's eternal classic, Up On Cripple Creek.
Both of Earley's projects are favorites of TWD and my article heralding Denver's record release can be found here. Additionally, if you missed the premier episode of Descutes River Recordings with Eric D. Johnson you can check it out via the Dig here.
The goal is simple. Raise money by way of a local non-profit by giving away first class music performances from top tier musicians in exchange for donation to help keep the natural splendor of the Deschutes River Basin sustainable for today and tomorrow's generations. It's craft beer. It's music. It's environmentalism. It's a cause I would like the Dig Nation to support and enjoy.
Eric Earley's performance is a wonderful take on a cut that comes with the heavy burden of history. The Band's original recording is so beloved and so stylistically known that any alterations to it could be sacrilege. Nevertheless, Eric Early toes the line between personal relationship and homage perfectly, and the result is a refreshing take on a classic that will drive you to sing along. I did.
My favorite part of the video is seeing the variety of instruments that Earley used to orchestrate his arrangement. In particular, I was really fond of his tasty pedal steel playing. His musical language is always rife with shape and accent, and today's release is no exception.