CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. - Trampled. By Turtles. A seemingly random name pitched by mandolin player Erik Berry at the band's inception, one can't help but try to reconcile the image of slow-moving, rampaging reptiles with the band's musical aesthetic.The slow and lazy waltz of the latest album's "The Calm and the Crying Wind," a tear-in-your-beer lament in 3/4 time, sits comfortably next to frenetic thrash-grass numbers like "Risk" or "Don't Look Down," breathtaking in their galloping energy.Trampled By Turtles is Dave Simonett on guitar and lead vocals, Tim Saxhaug on bass, Dave Carroll on banjo, Erik Berry on mandolin and Ryan Young on fiddle. Before coming together as a band, they were all members of various rock bands, and Turtles became a side project for the musicians to play acoustic music: old fiddle songs, traditional folk songs, bluegrass.Before long, the side project became the musicians' focus, and they have recorded six albums together since 2004. Much has happened to Trampled by Turtles since its last Tahoe appearance in December of 2011. 2012 saw the release of their latest album, "Stars and Satellites," performances on both David Letterman and Craig Ferguson, a spot at Lollapalooza and amazingly, April 11 of last year was proclaimed TBT Day by the mayors of the band's home city of Duluth and neighboring Minneapolis, Minnesota.If, like me, you are late to the Turtles party and missed their previous Tahoe appearances, make sure to catch their show Monday, Jan. 14, at the Crystal Bay Club.The CBC has proven itself to be an incubator for Americana musicians that later go on to define the genre before massive audiences. The Avett Brothers played a free show to a small-but-cozy Red Room crowd back in 2007; today they regularly sell out arena-sized shows and are a festival season staple. Singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham played the Club that same year and went on to win a Grammy.The Turtles are already on a similar track, and we're lucky to have them back.
"Banjo Dave" Carroll of Trampled By Turtles took some time to answer a few pressing questions for Lake Tahoe Action via email this weekend:Q: What do you think of the current wave of Americana that is currently coming to a head worldwide? The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, the Avetts, etc. Do you feel like your band is a part of - or benefitting from - this seemingly newfound interest in roots music?Carroll: I think it's great. 10 years ago, when we first started, there wasn't as much of an Americana scene. With all these bands getting so much attention, I'm sure it helps to introduce some of their fans to our band. We are very happy to be a small part of it!Q: This is at least your third time back to Tahoe. Your band keeps getting exponentially more successful between Tahoe appearances, and some here worry that you will eventually get too big to play our little town. Can you promise that you will always come back?Carroll: Unless the roads close again after 6 feet of snow falls, we will always try to make it back. We absolutely love Tahoe.Q: It appears you have a couple days between your Crystal Bay Club show and your next show at the Fillmore. Do you plan to stick around for a bit to ski or snowboard?Carroll: Dave S., Ryan and myself are all going to try to fit in a day on the mountain. Our hills in Minnesota can't compare to the mountains, got to take advantage of any chance to go skiing.Q: We're glad to have you any time of the week, but how do you feel about a Monday night show? Anything that you can add that could provide an extra little needed kick in the pants to someone sitting at home wondering if they should go out on a Monday night?Carroll: Being on the road so much, days kind of all feel the same. I would just tell everyone to call in sick on Tuesday!