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Trampled by Turtles

Trampled by Turtles will be on stage Jan. 15 at the Castle Theatre in Bloomington.

BLOOMINGTON — After a short, but much needed break, bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles is back on the road again, promoting their latest album “Life is Good on the Open Road.”

One of their stops will be in Bloomington.

The Minnesota-based string band will take the stage at 8 p.m. Jan. 15, at The Castle Theatre in Bloomington. Doors open at 7 p.m. 

And, the six-man band is ready to go. “We were refreshed by the time off,” said the band’s bassist, Tim Saxhaug.

The change can be heard on stage as well as in their latest compilation of music on “Life is Good.”

Trampled by Turtles have remained true to their sound that has been tagged with several labels. Their management describes the band as a blend of rock, folk, punk, country and progressive bluegrass.

The band is more apt to simplify their sound, sort of.

“It’s not quite bluegrass,” Saxhaug said, "but has bluegrass, country and folk in it.”

Trampled by Turtles consists of Saxhaug, guitarist Dave Simonett, cellist Eamonn McLain, banjo player Dave Carroll, mandolin player Erik Barry and violinist Ryan Young. The average age of the band members is 38. Their influences range from the 1960s classic storytellers, such as Neil Young and Bob Dylan, to the The Cars in the 1980s and the early works of rapper Dr. Dre.

Although their influences run the gamut of popular music, the band isn’t quick to give anyone else credit.

“Influence is a broad term,” Saxhaug said. “Whether it is direct or not, the things you listen to is going to affect your music.”

Since Trampled by Turtles formed in 2003, the group has toured all over the country. Their last tour in 2015 was strenuous.

“We toured hard for the last album,” Saxhaug said.

The short hiatus afterward helped create an energetic sound for their latest album. “It cleared our head,” Saxhaug said.

Powerful songs such as “Kelly’s Bar” are followed by melodic tunes such as “We All Get Lonely.”

The band produced “Life is Good” themselves, a process Saxhaug said went surprisingly fast and easy. He admits the band stripped the sound down to the bare essentials. “Of all the albums, this best represents us,” he said. “We tried experimenting, and that was fun.”

According to Saxhaug, their new sound can be heard while they are on stage as well.

“It is a pretty dynamic set,” he said. “It’s sometimes wild and sometimes pretty.”

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Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR


Food and Drink Reporter

Food and drink reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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