Trampled By Turtles (TBT) is an American bluegrass band from Duluth, Minnesota. Since releasing their debut album in 2004, the band has toured the U.S. with Pert' Near Sandstone, White Iron Band, Cracker, and Lucero. The band describes the sound of their music as thrashgrass.
Trampled By Turtles performed at the 2005, 2006, and 2007 10,000 Lakes Festival in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
People often find it hard to categorize the music of Trampled by Turtles. Is it bluegrass? Not quite. Is it folk? Not quite that either. TBT's songs vary from angst-ridden barn-burners that border on punk-rock, to sweet, slow, country (and not-so-country) laments. When asked, the band doesn't seem to care what you call them. Alt-bluegrass, non-traditional bluegrass, it's best to just listen for yourself.
Trampled by Turtles is Dave Simonett (guitar), Tim Saxhaug (bass), Dave Carroll (banjo), Erik Berry (mandolin), and Ryan Young (fiddle). They call Duluth, MN home, but have spent the last five years taking this music across the country, playing in venues ranging from raging basement parties to places like The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco and New York's Bowery Ballroom. Finding their appeal extended beyond the traditional "bluegrass crowd", they've opened for and toured with the likes of Low, Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, and Pedro the Lion. They have also found a loyal following at festivals such as 10,000 Lakes, Wakarusa, Rothbury, and Pickathon.
"They are, simply put, perhaps the best live band in the state." - The Onion, October 14 2007.
In 2007, The band released their third studio album, Trouble. With this release they expanded on their prior work by adding producer Rich Mattson to the fold and exploring different instrumentation and arrangements with guests such as Jessy Greene (Jayhawks, Wilco, Foo Fighters) and fiddler Ryan Young who has since joined the band.
"Trouble will make road kill of your heart in 14 tear-jerking, floor-stomping tracks."
- The Metropolitan (Denver) February, 2007.
"Simonett is the most compelling frontman Duluth has produced in years. His flow has a shit-kicking quality no folkie can assume, a frank way of phrasing that makes his melodies a blunt instrument amid impressionist strumming." - The City Pages (Minneapolis) February, 2007.
"Trampled by Turtles have been able to capture that same live energy in their recorded material. Each release has become a clearer interpretation of the band's unique sound, and this year's Trouble features some of their best work yet." - Pulse of the Twin Cities, February 7, 2007.
With their new release, Duluth, Trampled by Turtles returns to a raw, live feel. With most of the material recorded live in the studio, the album takes on the quality of a live show, with minimal and tasteful production. Minnesota music guru Rich Mattson was once again brought in to produce and the album was recorded partially in Minneapolis and in his studio in the abandoned mining community of Sparta, MN.