Trampled By Turtles are my kind of Bluegrass band. They don’t have that clean, crisp Nashville sound you may think of when you think “Bluegrass music.” Instead, they embrace a looser sound that blends rock and punk into their twang.
TxT hails from Duluth, MN and have quietly released five albums, the latest of which is one of my personal favorites of last year. Palomino is a brilliant record that balances furious energy, calming ballads, frantic finger-picking, three-part harmonies, and startlingly good songwriting. Three of the four songs in this session, Victory, Help You, and New Orleans, can be found on Palomino. The heartbreaking ballad entitled Widower’s Heart is a new and unreleased track whose title requires little explanation on its subject matter.
I’ve seen them twice at SxSW in two consecutive years and they were in my top three sets each year. Dave Simonett (guitar/vocals), Ryan Young (fiddle), Erik Berry (mandolin/vocals), Dave Carroll (banjo, vocals), and Tim Saxhaug (bass/vocals) each command their instruments and demand equal attention from the audience. I was chatting with an old friend before they took the stage at HomeSlice Pizza last year in Austin and halfway into their first song, we ended our conversation mid-sentence and didn’t take our eyes off the stage until the set concluded. “Good” is an understatement.
Trampled By Turtles have a few tour dates left this summer, so catch up with them if you can. No matter how hot it is, there’s a very good chance that Erik Berry will be wearing overalls, a cowboy hat, and full beard.
Video: Trampled By Turtles – Widower’s Heart (Live In Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)
Video: Trampled By Turtles – Victory (Live In Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)
Video: Trampled By Turtles – Help You (Live In Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)