Trampled by Turtles retreat into shell

Trampled by Turtles performs on National Public Radio's "Tiny Desk" concert series. (screenshot)

Trampled by Turtles performs on National Public Radio’s “Tiny Desk” concert series. (screenshot)

When you think about the Northern Minnesota music scene, one band stands out like a banjo at a rock ‘n’ roll show. They go by the name Trampled by Turtles.

The Duluth- and Minneapolis-based Americana band brings a hard-charging bluegrass sound. TBT basically put the Duluth scene on the map. They were working local musicians who remade themselves into something wholly unexpected. Trampled showed a diverse array of Northern Minnesota bands a path to the mainstream.

But this past weekend, Trampled by Turtles announced an indefinite hiatus.

Sunday’s tweet read: “Going away for a little while. We love you all. Thanks for an amazing first chapter.”

Jay Boller at City Pages reports that lead singer Dave Simonett had already announced he was spending time on his solo project Dead Man Winter.

The sleuths over at Saving Country Music worked backwards, and discovered an October 13 press release from TbT frontman Dave Simonett’s alt-country solo project, Dead Man Winter, embedded with more clues. It reads thusly:

“After 14 years of leading the successful progressive bluegrass outfit, Simonett chose to put [Trampled by Turtles] on hold, and for the first time, dedicate an entire album to one topic. The 10 songs that comprise Furnace reflect a man coming to terms with a painful divorce and the heartbreaking separation from his two children.”

Due out January 27, Furnace is Simonett’s second full-length as DMW, following 2011’s Bright Lights. The “introspective” and “venomous” LP was recorded at legendary Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.

Boller also reports this:

“All is good with the band, they’re just taking a break from the road for a bit as they’ve been touring for almost 13 years,”[TBT]  publicist Michelle Steele tells City Pages, adding that the five members plan to work on side gigs and spend time with their families.

So the Turtles will be back. We just don’t know when.

Maybe the Great Northern Radio Show will be a good place for the reunion show?

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