To indie music lovers across the country, the countdown is on for the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, held April 15-17 at the Empire Polo Field. With big names as Cee Lo Green, Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, Kanye West, and The Strokes performing, it’s easy to overlook the bands in the “little font”. Some of these bands, however, will surely be the highlight of the show and are definitely not to be ignored. From now until the festival, I’m going to take some time to review the non headlining acts.
Artist of the Day: Trampled By Turtles
Labeled by some as “alternative bluegrass” or “punk-grass”, Trampled By Turtles is as far as you can get from your every day bluegrass band.
Born as a duo between singer-songwriter Dave Simmonett and mandolin player Erik Berry in 2003, Trampled By Turtles quickly grew into a full blown quintet, with the addition of Ryan Young (fiddle), Dave Carroll (banjo), and Tim Saxhaug (bass). Since releasing their debut album Songs From a Ghost Town in 2004, Trampled By Turtles have successfully expanded out from their home state of Minnesota, selling out venues throughout the country.
Making rounds on the festival circuit, the band has frequently played at South by Southwest, Stagecoach Fest, High Sierra Fest, Wakarusa, and DelFest, where they’ve earned a reputation for genre-blending frenzy inducing live shows.
While they use the typical instruments one would expect out of any typical bluegrass band, they are anything but. Playing an awesome mix of acoustic music that’s equal part bluegrass and punk rock, their audience is as diverse as their musical
selection. Attracting everyone from indie rockers, to those in the jamband scene, to occasional metal fans, the band manages to be a crowd pleaser for all.
Even die hard bluegrass fans themselves can appreciate the band’s eclectic style, as was demonstrated when their fifth studio album, Palomino hit No. 1 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart. Perhaps typical of the bluegrass style of music, Palomino’s songs are tales of sadness, drinking and woe, but played at breakneck speed as in true TBT fashion.
To accurately capture the band’s energy, the band recorded Palomino in different locations, with sessions split between Sparta, Minneapolis, and laptop recordings from their tour, bringing listeners a good representation of a live performance.
Voted One of JamBase’s Must See Bands, don’t miss your chance to check them out at Coachella.
Trampled By Turtles perform Saturday, April 16th.