The prodigal Turtles have returned


Trampled by Turtles

When the Minnesota contemporary bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles went on hiatus last year their departing shells cast a pall over these North Woods. How long would they be hibernating? Would we have to “Wait So Long?” Or could this truly be the end?

Lead singer Dave Simonett’s side project “Dead Man Winter” was generating music sadder and more contemplative than ever. Ennui ruled our northern land, more than usual even.

Well, Trampled by Turtles stormed back to life this week. They teased their new upcoming album “Life is Good on the Open Road,” announced a summer tour, and released a single.

Here’s their new song “Kelly’s Bar”:

You can hear from the sound of “Kelly’s Bar” that the Turtles return to their high energy, uptempo roots. They’re back to beating the holy hell out of acoustic instruments. In other words, a sure hit with their fans.

I heard the song on the radio today. Watching the Norway pines stream by the car window I remembered that Trampled by Turtles really does provide the soundtrack to being a Northern Minnesotan nowadays. The connection between music, lyrics, subject and audience seems complete. They make cold hot. We need that.

The band kicks off its tour on May 4 in St. Paul. After that, they’ll snake around the country all summer long. Opening acts include Deer Tick, Hiss Golden Messenger, Dead Horses, The Oh Hellos, The Lil Smokies and Actual Wolf, among others. Find out more at the Trampled by Turtles website.

Anyway, it’ll be another wild year in Northern Minnesota. Debates over politics and whether or not that was a cougar or mountain lion will rage. The weather will surprise us in many predictable ways. The lakes will shimmer blue. The leaves will grow green. And we’ll have some “Trampled by Turtles” tunes in our ears. Even if it’s a bad year, it’ll be a good year. After all, that’s how we live in Northern Minnesota.

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