Jam Central Station 12.08.12: Trampled by Turtles
Posted by Jeff Modzelewski on 12.08.2012
A great up and coming Bluegrass band!
Hey everyone! Looks like the winter is kicking in, although no major snow yet. Hope you're doing well wherever you are. I was happy to see earlier this week that two great bands sold out venues here in Cleveland. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals sold out the House of Blues, while Trampled by Turtles sold out the Beachland Ballroom. Those are two pretty impressive feats from two impressive bands. I decided to use that as motivation to take a closer look at one of those bands this week!
Trampled by Turtles have been one of the fastest rising folk/bluegrass bands over the past year. Since their release of Stars and Satellites earlier this year, the band has started to build up fans well beyond their initial folk base. That's not surprising, however, since the members of Trampled by Turtles all started out making decidedly non-folk/bluegrass music. The band came together as a side project in 2003 as a side project. The members were friends who all played in different rock outfits in Minnesotta. They came together initially as a way to take a break from their primary bands and explore some acoustic music. Within a year, however, Trampled by Turtles started to take off, and the previous bands were left behind.
At their start Trampled by Turtles focused mainly on playing traditional folk style music. They were interested in exploring some of the classic styles of music that many of the members had grown up with or had been listening to for many years. They focused on the more traditional elements of the music simply because the members weren't very familiar playing or writing in that style, or even on the instruments they were playing in Trampled by Turtles. Erik Berry had only been playing mandolin for a few months, and the rest of the band was just getting comfortable in an acoustic environment. Despite the difficulties, the chemistry between the band members was readily apparent, and they garnered enough early attention to focus on the band full time.
In their early years the band focused on small tours, playing on smaller festivals, and recording. They released Songs From A Ghost Town in 2004 and Blue Sky and the Devil in 2005. Both of these albums came from a very traditional bluegrass place. They brought the band enough success to make Trampled by Turtles a viable band, but they had trouble standing out from other bands in the genre. For their third album the band took a little bit of a different route. They invited friends and guests to play on the album, and they moved away from some of the more traditional elements and began bringing in their own style. The touring and recording had brought the band together and helped them become more confident as a bluegrass band. They were ready to record in their own style. The result was Trouble, an album that helped them break out as a more unique bluegrass band with a very different style.
While Trouble was an obvious turning point for the band, they solidified the transformation with Duluth. They brought in fiddle player Ryan Young as a member. They played bluegrass and folk festivals, but didn't limit themselves to that genre. The result was an increased fanbase, and one that reached out beyond the traditional bluegrass experience. This led to Duluth reaching #8 on the Bluegrass charts, the first time the band had charted. By breaking out and becoming more comfortable with who they were as a band, Trampled by Turtles was able to see more success across the board.
This success continued in a big way with 2010's Palomino. The band focused on capturing their live energy and spontaneity on the album, leading to it being recorded in a variety of locations. They continued to buck tradition, and they were successful in doing so. The album hit #1 on the bluegrass charts as well as charting in other areas of Billboard. They played smaller festivals but also played Coachella, Stagecoach, Newport Folk Festival, and Telluride. The band used these opportunities to generate new interest, both from bluegrass fans and from others outside the genre. It was a strategy that allowed the band to increase their crowd size for headlining shows and allowing them to get on more festivals. They more they played in front of diverse crowds, the more fans they got, allowing the play in front of even bigger and more diverse crowds. It was a cycle that was working very well for the group.
In April 2012, the band released Stars and Satellites, an album that is helping them continue their progression towards mainstream success. The album hit #32 on the Billboard Top 200, as well as #1 on the Bluegrass and #2 on the Folk charts. This was a huge accomplishment for the band, allowing them to continue their growth. In 2012 they played numerous big festivals, including Bonnaroo, Sasquatch!, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and others. They went from playing bars and clubs to playing and even selling out larger venues. Their inclusion of some of the rock elements of their previous bands helped them stand out from other bluegrass acts, and as they've strengthened their songwriting and live performance they've been able to add to their success. Over the past year they've really reached the level of bands such as Railroad Earth and Leftover Salmon, and they've become solidly entrenched in the newgrass community. They have a lot of music ahead of them, and they're solid standard bearers for modern bluegrass.
Mountain Jam 2013
The 2013 Mountain Jam confirmed their dates this year. The event will take place in Hunter Mountain, NY on June 6-9. Changes include a bigger Thursday headliner as well as car camping. Warren Haynes will again host the event. Presale tickets will be available starting on Monday.
The Allman Brother's Wanee Festival will again take place at the Spirit of Suwanee Music Park in Live Oaks, FL. Next year's event will take place from April 18-20, and the Allmans will return as headliners.
All Good 2013
All Good will return to Legend Valley in Thornville Ohio in 2013. The event will take place July 18-21.
Outside Lands 2013
Outside Lands will be back at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco next year. The festival will take place on August 9-11.
Buku Music and Art Project
The Buku Music and Art Project will return to teh Mardi Gras World warehouse in New Orleans on March 8-9. This festival is in its second year, and it will expand to 2 days. They've also diversified the lineup from 2012. Performers will include Kid Cudi, Calvin Harris, Primus, Passion Pit, STS9, Zedd, Major Lazer, Big Gigantic, datsik, and many others.
After moving away from Labor Day weekend in 2012, next year's moe.down will once again take place in August. The event will be held at the Snow Ridge Ski Resort in Turin, NY on August 9-11. Tickets go on sale on December 10, and the band will offer VIP tickets for the first time ever for the event.
Trey Anastasio Band announce dates
The Trey Anastasio Band is still out supporting Trey's recent release Traveler. The band will continue their tour in January with a handful of dates. They're also playing Summer Camp in May, so there may be more more dates in the works
January 18 Toronto, ON—Danforth Music Hall
January 19 Syracuse, NY—Landmark Theatre
January 20 Portland, ME—State Theatre
January 23 Port Chester, NY—Capitol Theatre (make up date for 10/28)
January 24 Port Chester, NY—Capitol Theatre
January 25 Montclair, NJ—Wellmont Theatre
January 26 Albany, NY—Palace Theatre
Strings & Sol
December 12-16, 2012
Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa
Yonder Mountain String Band will perform 3 shows, and Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, and The Infamous Stringdusters will each be performing 2 shows.
Warren Haynes Christmas Jam
December 15, 2012
US Cellular Civic Center
Performers include: Warren Haynes Band, String Cheese Incident, Blind Boys of Alabama, Sheryl Crow, Trombone Shorty, and many others.
December 16-19, 2012 (Bahamas)
December 19-23, 2012 (Jamaica)
Departing from Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Performers include: Pulp, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, Girl Talk, James Murphy, Sleigh Bells, and many others.
December 17-21, 2012
Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa
Umphrey's McGee, The Disco Biscuits, and STS9 will each perform two shows. STS9 will also perform a special midnight set commemorating the beginning of the new Great Cycle of the Mayan Calendar.
January 7-12, 2013
Performers include: moe., Medeski, Martin, Scofield & Wood, Funky Meters, Galactic, Karl Denson's Tiny Univers, Big Gigantic, Lettuce, ALO, Tea Leaf Green, Greensky Bluegrass, Hot Buttered Rum, and many others.
Island Exodus IV
January 16-20, 2013
Gov't Mule will host the event and perform multiple sets. No word on other performers.
Panic En La Playa Dos
January 27-31, 2013
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
This event will be the return of Widespread Panic to the stage after a year-long hiatus. Tickets go on sale August 24.
Jam in the Sand
March 1-5, 2013
Breezes Grand Resort
Dark Star Orchestra's first Jamaican event. This event will feature multiple DSO shows as well as three Keller Williams sets and other activities
Buku Music Project
March 8-9, 2013
Mardi Gras World Warehouse
New Orleans, LA
Performers include: Kid Cudi, Calvin Harris, Primus, Passion Pit, STS9, Zedd, Major Lazer, Big Gigantic, Datsik, Lettuce, and many others
March 21-24, 2012
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Peter Rowan, Keller and the Keels, Leftover Salmon, Donna the Buffalo, The Travelin' McCoury's, Elephant Revival, and many others.
March 21-24, 2012
April 12-14, 2013
April 19-21, 2013
April 18-20, 2013
Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Hangout Music Festival
May 17-19, 2013
Gulf Shores, AL
Summer Camp Music Festival
Three Sisters Park
Performers include: moe., Umphrey's McGee, Trey Anastasio Band, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Thievery Corp., Big Gigantic, Lettuce, Cornmeal, Keller Williams, and many others.
May 23-26, 2013
June 6-9, 2013
Hunter Mountain, NY
Governors Ball Music Festival
June 8-9, 2013
New York City, NY
Solid Sound Festival
June 21-23, 2013
Museum of Contemporary Art
North Adams, MA
Hosted by Wilco
High Sierra Music Festival
July 4-7, 2013
All Good Music Festival
July 18-21, 2013
July 25-28, 2013
Performers include: The Lumineers, John Butler Trio, Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Trampled by Turtles, Blitzen Trapper, and many others.
Newport Folk Festival
July 27-28, 2013
Newport Jazz Festival
August 2-4, 2013
August 9-11, 2013
Snow Ridge Ski Resort
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA
September 6-8, 2013
Austin City Limits
October 4-6, 2013
October 11-13, 2013
Once again, thanks for checking out the column this week. There's always more Jam Central Station on FacebookTwitter. Until next week, Jam On!