Trampled by Turtles
Start with caramel bass, guitar, banjo and mandolin that form the warp and weft of Trampled by Turtles’ adventurous, nuanced bluegrass-cum-folk melodies; use a whiskey-smooth fiddle to pull it together into a seamless whole; add lyrics that are by turns playful and plaintive. The final effect is like being trampled by turtles; you don’t realize it’s happening because it’s so gradual, but suddenly you find yourself overcome by the band’s bracing blue-collar ’grass with a fistful of gunpowder.
They came by this sound naturally, with members previously playing in punk bands. And though traces of their rock influences reveal themselves occasionally in lyrics, sophisticated and inventive arrangements or the occasional cover song, the Turtles’ sound since 2003 has been leading to an ever more pure and authentic expression of their instruments’ voices, and their own.