Sometimes a song brings you up short on the very first note, which is exactly what just happened with “The Way It Is” by Denver, a group featuring members of Blitzen Trapper and Alela Diane’s Wild Divine.
Biographical information is sketchy, though Tom Bevitori, Mike Elias and Birgir Olson apparently started the group last year before expanding to include Blitzen Trapper’s Eric Early and Mike VanPelt, and drummer Sean MacNeil.
The Portland, Ore., crew plays late-’60s-style country-rock that would sound just fine sandwiched between the Flying Burrito Brothers and early Neil Young. “The Way It Is” opens with a swirl of pedal steel guitar, and a loose drum beat anchors acoustic strumming that gives rise to little blooms of vibrato guitar and tight vocal harmonies on the chorus.
It’s a beautiful song with an air of parched resignation, and it comes from a self-titled album due Aug. 14.
The Way It Is