Trapper Schoepp's new album, "Rangers and Valentines," will be out on April 1, and new video for “Ballad of Olof Johnson” takes a trip on the Oregon Trail.

Last we checked in with Trapper Schoepp back in the July issue of Milwaukee Magazine, the singer-songwriter was putting the finishing touches on his narrative-driven alt-country album, Rangers and Valentines. The record marks a significant step forward for the Schoepp, whose evocative tales have grown even deeper the older he gets. The recording quality has received some polish, as well. Brendan Benson served as the album’s producer and along with Schoepp’s backing band the Shades, a bevy of musicians came onboard to help fill out the genre-hopping sound, including Steve Selvidge of the Hold Steady, John Davis of Superdrag, and gospel singers the McCrary Sisters.

Today, Schoepp announced the record will be released on April 1 via Xtra Mile Recordings. (You now pre-order the album from Amazon.) He also premiered the music video for “Ballad of Olof Johnson” on The AV Club. The video leads viewers through an animated Oregon Trail-style computer game, but the song is actually an “Inspired by True Events” tribute to Schoepp’s immigrant relative who was stranded during a blizzard while traveling to Minnesota. Leaning on his survivalist instincts, he dug a hole in the snow and flipped his wagon to provide shelter until the snow melted. It’s just one of the unbelievable stories Schoepp tells on Rangers and Valentines.



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