11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Trampled by Turtle’s 2012 release opens with “Midnight on the Interstate,” where over acoustic guitar, mandolin, bass, and banjo, Dave Simonett somberly sings about spending much of his life looking out of tour-bus windows. And as the next song’s simple title suggests, “Alone” is another mournful musing. But with rootsy instruments picking and chiming under flowing vocal harmonies, the Duluth, Minn., quintet somehow makes loneliness sound stunningly beautiful—especially toward the tune's end, when it crescendos into a near-symphonic climax. Some may call Trampled by Turtles’ music “newgrass,” but it’s refreshing to hear a progressive bluegrass band that doesn’t sound so . . . progressive. The more upbeat “Walt Whitman” is a good example of this. While the playing and picking innovatively transcend musical borders, the song’s arrangements are by no means overly complicated or pedantically show-offish. “Sorry” is another buoyant standout, with barn-burning banjo picking and fiery mandolin balanced against moderate fiddle notes. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Trampled by Turtle’s 2012 release opens with “Midnight on the Interstate,” where over acoustic guitar, mandolin, bass, and banjo, Dave Simonett somberly sings about spending much of his life looking out of tour-bus windows. And as the next song’s simple title suggests, “Alone” is another mournful musing. But with rootsy instruments picking and chiming under flowing vocal harmonies, the Duluth, Minn., quintet somehow makes loneliness sound stunningly beautiful—especially toward the tune's end, when it crescendos into a near-symphonic climax. Some may call Trampled by Turtles’ music “newgrass,” but it’s refreshing to hear a progressive bluegrass band that doesn’t sound so . . . progressive. The more upbeat “Walt Whitman” is a good example of this. While the playing and picking innovatively transcend musical borders, the song’s arrangements are by no means overly complicated or pedantically show-offish. “Sorry” is another buoyant standout, with barn-burning banjo picking and fiery mandolin balanced against moderate fiddle notes. 

TITLE TIME
3:25
4:28
2:38
5:43
2:49
5:33
2:47
4:29
3:19
4:02
3:58

About Trampled By Turtles

Progressive bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles are from Duluth, Minnesota, where frontman Dave Simonett initially formed the group as a side project in 2003. At the time, Simonett had lost most of his music gear, thanks to a group of enterprising car thieves who'd ransacked his vehicle while he played a show with his previous band. Left with nothing more than an acoustic guitar, he began piecing together a new band, this time taking inspiration from bluegrass, folk, and other genres that didn't rely on amplification. Simonett hadn't played any bluegrass music before, and he filled his lineup with other newcomers to the genre, including fiddler Ryan Young (who'd previously played drums in a speed metal act) and jam band bassist Tim Saxhaug. Along with mandolinist Erik Berry and banjo player Dave Carroll, the group began carving out a fast, frenetic sound that owed as much to rock & roll as bluegrass.

Trampled by Turtles released their first record, Songs from a Ghost Town, in 2004. In a genre steeped in tradition, the album stood out for its contemporary sound, essentially bridging the gap between the bandmates' background in rock music and their new acoustic leanings. Blue Sky and the Devil (2005) and Trouble (2007) explored a similar sound, but it wasn't until 2008 and the band's fourth release, Duluth, that Trampled by Turtles received the full support of the bluegrass community. Duluth peaked at number eight on the Billboard bluegrass chart and paved the way for a number of festival appearances. When Palomino arrived in 2010, it was met with an even greater response, debuting at the top of the bluegrass chart and remaining in the Top Ten for more than a year. Two years later, their crossover appeal landed them at number 32 on the Billboard 200 pop charts upon the release of their sixth album, Stars and Satellites. In addition to major bluegrass and folk festivals, they began showing up at Coachella, Bumbershoot, and Lollapalooza. The official concert album, Live at First Avenue, followed in 2013, recorded at Minnesota's most famous venue. A year later, the band returned with the darker-toned Wild Animals, which bettered its studio predecessor on the album charts, reaching number 29. ~ Andrew Leahey

  • ORIGIN
    Duluth, MN
  • FORMED
    2003

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