Written by Bill Whiting – [email protected]
Delivering the gospel of bluegrass music from Duluth, Minnesota, Trampled By Turtles engaged their followers at Newport, Kentucky’s Southgate House with a transfixing performance on March 24. As guitarist Dave Simonett strummed slowly, the other four members of the quintet gradually followed his lead on the beautiful, atmospheric instrumental, “New Son/ Burnt Iron.” Touring behind the disc, Palomino, Trampled By Turtles highlighted their hour and a half set with compositions from the new recording. Stretching out on five chairs across the Southgate’s ballroom stage, Simonett, bassist Tim Saxhaug, banjo master Dave Carroll, mandolinist Erik Berry and fiddle player Ryan Young added depth and dimension to “Help You.” Easing into the peaceful ballad, “Victory,” Simonett’s vocal treatment floated above the cascading improvisational notes from the other four stringed instruments. “It’s a War” had a punk bluegrass feel about it, and Trampled by Turtles’ energized rendition of the number left many in the audience in slack jawed amazement. Benefiting from a perfect sound mix inside the Southgate House, the ensemble utilized their time on stage wisely, pacing a brisk rave up alongside a high and lonesome tune from the hills of home. Enjoying their first time playing at the Southgate, Trampled By Turtles was treated to two rounds of whiskey shots from the members of the crowd on the floor. The solid mix of interactive soloing, heightened song writing skills, and sharp, connecting harmonies made March 24’s Trampled By Turtles concert a fulfilling experience, and it left those in attendance in excited anticipation of their eventual return.