By Vernon Tart
Mr. Alan, a southern rocker, kicks off The Trappers self-titled release. With its country picking and chiming guitar, a folk rock vibe appears that is engagingly mixed with a sort of laid back rock style, a la the Georgia Satellites but more folk than rock.
Finding a balance for each artist is the test of all bands and The Trappers seem to have found a sound of their own; a marriage between southern and folk rock. Bands like The Byrd’s and The Flying Burrito Brothers come to mind as does the more modern hybrids like The Gourds or Possum Jenkins. Gonna make you mine is one of those tracks that hints at country but never really walks down that road. Instead churning along as a mixed bag of rock, country, folk and pop.
The catchy guitar riff carries most of the song with its basic and stark sound. This formula is used throughout the release on tracks like Bloodshot Bill, which have a lot in common with the folk rock era from the mid to late sixties and The Trappers do a good job of creating their own sound using this combination.
With a rock foundation and a country twang that brings DBT to mind, Cut Loose follows a more country rock sound and has a harder edged. Waterloo is a torch song that brings a very old sound to the band, with the pedal steel picking the sweet tune with the guitar, it has a feel of something Gram Parsons would have done on his two seminal releases GP and the Grievous Angel.
The vocals are vulnerable and have a fragile quality to them throughout most of this release. Ain’t No Reason Why and Wind and Rain both are very much in the style of Cut Loose; both hybrid country tracks that capture The Trappers sound.
Ol’ Leroy is a flat out rocker capturing no holds bar rock n’ roll. Fright Train returns to the sound of Mr. Alan though perhaps a bit more laid back with an organ wailing lowly in the background. With Solid Ground, the last track on the release, you hear the folk and country roots blending into a sweet, easygoing sound that captures the fragility of the vocals throughout the songs.