"Songs for the River, By the River" is the gist of the audio-video series unveiled earlier this month by Bend's Deschutes Brewery, which whisks away some of Portland's finest musicians to the banks of Central Oregon's Deschutes River to perform takes on classic river songs, all to benefit the Deschutes River Conservancy. Bolstered by the natural beauty of the region, the ambience of some random river birds and even a few stray fishermen, the results have been visually stunning and unique.
We're happy to bring you the local premiere of the second installment in the Deschutes River Recordings series, featuring Blitzen Trapper's Eric Earley and his version of The Band's "Up on Cripple Creek." It's a faithful take on the classic, with Earley filling the roles of Levon Helm (vocals), Robbie Robertson (electric guitar) and either Garth Hudson or Richard Manuel depending on how you look at it (keys). Earley throws some lap steel in for good measure, too.
Fruit Bats' Eric D. Johnson started things earlier this month with a take on The Byrds' "Ballad of Easy Rider," and Laura Gibson will conclude the series next month (our bets are on Joni Mitchell's "River" for that one).