JamBase Questionnaire: Trampled By Turtles

Welcome back to JamBase’s baker’s dozen to the bright lights of the music world. Last time we heard from Greensky Bluegrass.

Blinding fast or molasses slow, Minnesota’s Trampled By Turtles are resoundingly convincing. While lazy listeners might categorize them as simply a nu-grass or speedgrass, what truly differentiates this ambitious, deadly serious acoustic quintet from their peers – and hints that TBT might be next in line for the kind of enduring fan bases that have sustained Leftover Salmon and Yonder Mountain String Band – is the fine bone structure beneath the flying fingers and ringing strings.

Primary songwriter and guitarist Dave Simonett is serious business, penning material born of quality rumination and a real dedication to crafting music that reaches into deep water where so many stick to the shallows. Spend a little time with Simonett and you’ll see him studying every last thing around him, digesting it and logging lines for future stanzas. When he talks to you there’s a similar focus and intensity, lights flashing behind his bright eyes but pausing momentarily before he offers up what he’s thinking, and then only in small bursts, like he’s saving the good stuff for his songs. Call it considered wisdom and it’s all over Trampled By Turtles’ music, which breathes and runs with powerful, sympathetic musicianship that one encounters at every show and on the group’s excellent 2010 release Palomino (JamBase review). But, as fine and promising as this band is right now, it feels like they’re just getting started. (Dennis Cook)

Trampled By Turtles is currently on the road with the Infamous Stringdusters on the “Fly Palomino Tour,” but will be playing some headlining shows this weekend. Find full dates here.

Here’s what Simonett had to say to our inquiries.

Dave Simonett (right) with TBT
1. Great music rarely happens without…

2. The first album I bought was…
Metallica’s self-titled “black” album

3. The last song or album to really flip my wig was…
Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone

4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be…

5. My favorite sort of gig is…
Opening for a band I love.

6. One thing I wish people knew about me is…
Not applicable

7. I love the sound of…
A river

8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic as…
Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

9. The best meal I ever had on tour was at…
Citizen Kane’s in St. Louis

10. I always find the coolest audiences in…

11. The worst habit I’ve picked up being on the road all the time is…
Record store addiction

12. The Beatles or the Stones? Por qué?
For me it’s the Stones. I love how raw and brilliant they are, and to me they epitomize rock ‘n’ roll

13. The craziest thing I ever saw was…
Our crowd breaking through a line of police at a Minnesota State Fair show.

Greensky Bluegrass Tour Dates :: Greensky Bluegrass News :: Greensky Bluegrass Concert Reviews

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