As far as album titles go, Bee Appleseed & The Cosmic Family couldn’t have chosen a more perfect one than Backpacker Blues for its debut LP. Out July 20, the album is the result of frontman Appleseed (we think he was born Brian Smith, but Bee Appleseed definitely seems more fitting, so we’ll stick with that) embracing the vagabond lifestyle, woodshedding his songs across the globe, playing venues as diverse as farms and boats, hostels and banquet halls, castles and lingerie shops, tattoo parlors and mediation centers. Not to mention a donkey “retirement home.”
This Portland-bred road scholar didn’t just perform these songs all over the world—he recorded them in the same manner. Alphabetically, Backpacker Blues was put to tape in Bulgaria, Germany, Macedonia, Montenegro, Sweden and the U.S. (Oregon and Washington). Obviously not one to ever sit still, after finishing Backpacker Blues, Appleseed moved to Los Angeles, where he’s busy working on his next two albums. Not surprising, given Appleseed has already written and recorded 500 songs during his still-burgeoning career.
But right now, only one song matters—at least for you, dear MAGNET reader. It’s called “Graveyard,” and it’s the closing track on Backpacker Blues. It’s also being premiered today on magnetmagazine.com. Says Appleseed of the track, “‘Graveyard’ is an upbeat Americana ode to backpacking Europe, recorded between there and Olympia, Wash. Filled with walking bass lines, blues harmonica and honky-tonk organ before closing with a procession of trumpets, the song is a cajun-influenced pop track bidding farewell to the memories of a journey less traveled.”
Given what a long, strange trip it’s been for both Appleseed and Backpacker Blues, we’re keenly aware that when he mentions words like “journey” and “traveled,” he knows of what he speaks.
Check out “Graveyard” now, and catch Bee Appleseed & The Cosmic Family at the Silverlake Lounge on July 21.