Trampled By Turtles: New Album


Trampled By Turtles
With four self-released albums to their credit and a word-of-mouth reputation that draws legions of die hard fans to their live shows, northern roots music outfit Trampled By Turtles are set to release Palomino, their first album through Thirty Tigers/RED, on April 13.

With a sound that's a bracing hybrid of classic American songwriting, bluegrass and folk, this is forceful acoustic music from the land of ice and snow – of dark winters, isolation and numbing cold – delivered at breakneck pace with the fervor of religion.

The five members of what would become Trampled by Turtles formed in 2003 in Duluth, Minnesota. While they never set out to be a bluegrass band, the band employs the same time-honored tools of the trade – guitar, acoustic bass, banjo, mandolin and fiddle – as their grass-fed country cousins. But their soul-deep differences in influences, attitude and attack, from their quicksilver, deadly accurate picking to their lonesome, hauntingly spare ballads, make for a very different musical beast indeed.

Crisply produced by TxT lead singer, guitarist and primary songwriter Dave Simonett, Palomino leads off with a pair of plaintive, up-tempo ballads. "Wait So Long" offers gorgeous, high lonesome harmonies by bassist Tim Saxhaug and banjoist Dave Carroll, while "Victory" is a lament about persevering through loneliness and heartbreak, with Simonett singing "all of us lonely... it ain't a sin; want something better than the shape we're in..." and urging the listener to carry on, with the words "and the stars they whisper blessings babe, as you walk by."

Simonett strikes gold yet again with "New Orleans," a wistful time-tripper that evokes a dreamy 19th-century reverie. With the fare-thee-well track "Again," the album's closer, he and the boys deliver a bruised-but-unbowed fireside lament of longing and loss that will stick with you and brings to mind Uncle Tupelo and Jay Farrar's solo albums. It's a song that yearns for another chance and begs for another listen, a song that blends the band's virtuosity with the emotionalism that connects them with their audiences.

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