In a fluke incident recently, I discovered the sweet melodies of a neo-bluegrass band out of Duluth, MN called Trampled by Turtles. On a walk through Prospect Park I came across a sign for an organization that puts on free concerts at the park bandshell during the summer. Since I have been fairly bored recently, I put a reminder in my phone to look at the scheduled line up. I saw that the very next night three bands were playing and the headliner was Trampled by Turtles. Amused by the name I thought I’d check them out on iTunes and the rest, they say, is history.
I have never been much into country music and I always assumed any music involving a banjo was in the same vein so I shied away from bluegrass as well. I’m a convert! The first song I listened to was off the Stars and Satellites album released in April of 2012 (yes, I’m a year late), entitled “Alone” next was “Midnight on the Interstate.” The soft melodies and enchanting lead vocals of a somewhat dreamy, Dave Simonett, penetrated my soul and now I am sharing my love with you lucky readers. Other members of the band include the bearded Minnesota men Dave Carroll (banjo), Erik Berry (mandolin), Ryan Young (fiddle, viola, mandolin, viola de gamba, saw) and the baby faced Tim Saxhaug (bass).
A little background on the band (according to their website), they came together to “play music with acoustic instruments as a break from our rock bands.” They were playing old fiddle music, traditional folk, bluegrass, and a few original songs – this was early 2003. They recorded a couple albums and began to expand musically then began the touring. Per Wikipedia, their first major album was Palomino released in 2010 by Banjodad Records that peaked at #1 on the US bluegrass charts and maintained a top 10 position on the charts for over a year.
A year later they began to develop a new album, Stars and Satellites, which they debuted on network television on the Late Show with David Letterman shortly after its release performing “Alone.” The album topped the Billboard bluegrass charts (currently #7), was #2 on the Billboard Folk Album Chart for a time and peaked at #32 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. The song, “Alone” is also featured on the teen summer flick The Way, Way Back soundtrack. It is as if discovering them was meant to be…
The band is touring this summer at festivals across the country like Targhee Bluegrass Festival, Bumbershoot, Loufest, etc. – check out their page for more details about a show near you. Also, Dave Simonett is touring solo this fall you can check out that schedule here. I’m making it a mission of mine to see them live this year since I missed them in Prospect Park. Check out the video below and enjoy!