Trampled By Turtles

  • Indie folk/bluegrass band from Duluth Minnesota, formed in 2003. Members are Dave Simonett (frontman, lead vocals, guitar, songwriting), Tim Saxhaug (bass guitar, backing vocals), Dave Carroll (banjo, backing vocals, occasional songwriting), Erik Berry (mandolin, backing vocals, occasional songwriting), and Ryan Young (fiddle, backing vocals).
  • Simonett was playing in another band, and during a concert, nearly all of his musical equipment was stolen from his car. Left with nothing but an acoustic guitar, he began to form a new band that didn’t rely on amplified music. He gravitated to folk and bluegrass music, even though he hadn’t played any bluegrass music before. He recruited the other bandmembers, and the songs that Simonett wrote had a fast, frenetic sound that was rock & roll influenced but with a bluegrass sound.
  • Their debut album, Songs From A Ghost Town, was released in 2004 on their own independent label. Their contemporary bluegrass music was just starting to get exposure, and the album did not chart, even on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart. They also released albums in 2005 and 2007, expanding on their unique sound, but the music still did not sell much.
  • With their fourth album, 2008’s Duluth, they finally began to be noticed nationally. It peaked at #8 on the Bluegrass chart, and it paved the way to more exposure as the band was invited to music festivals.
  • In 2010, they released Palomino. The album reached #1 on the Bluegrass chart, and it remained in the top 10 on the chart for 52 weeks. By now, they were fully embraced by the bluegrass community, and their participation in major folk music festivals was highly anticipated. Most of their concert performances were sell-outs.
  • Their sixth album was released in 2012 – Stars and Satellites. The album has several slower paced songs, unlike most of the earlier work. Soon after the album was released, they made their TV debut by performing on the Late Show With David Letterman. The album was their first to chart on the Billboard 200 album chart, peaking at #32, and it again topped the Bluegrass chart.
  • A live album followed, and in 2014, they released their Wild Animals album. It was a darker toned album, and it peaked at #29 on the Billboard 200 chart, and at #1 on the Billboard Folk Albums chart.
  • In October 2016, the band announced that they were going on hiatus, but not breaking up. Simonett was active with a solo project called Dead Man Winter (which has a roots rock, Tom Petty kind of sound), and the other members also worked on their own projects.
  • They returned together as a group in 2018, releasing an album titled Life Is Good on the Open Road. They followed that album with Alpenglow, released in 2022. Both album topped the Billboard Bluegrass chart. I’m guessing that many of you haven’t heard their music. Here’s your chance – check out their music video Victory, from their Palomino album. If you have an ear for bluegrass and Americana music, this will become one of your favorite bands!

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