Trampled By Turtles

When Duluth, Minn.,-based Trampled By Turtles formed in 2003, it started out as an acoustic, folk-inspired side project for the members who were playing in rock bands and wanted a change.

From there, guitarist Dave Simonett, bassist Tim Saxhaug, Dave Carroll on banjo, Erik Berry on mandolin and fiddle player Ryan Young discovered that moving outside of their musical comfort zones opened a door they hadn’t anticipated.

Photo: Joshua Timmermans

The success of TBT’s 2010 release, Palomino, followed by this year’s Stars and Satellites, landed the band TV appearances on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” “A Prairie Home Companion” and “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson.”

Festival slots including Coachella, Stagecoach, Bumbershoot, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, Newport Folk and Austin City Limits helped the band perfect its sound and ramp up its live show as it built its fan base.

Monterey International co-RAs Josh Brinkman and Joshua Knight were impressed by TBT’s onstage chemistry and unique sound.

“[This is] a band that has a very organic past, for lack of a better phrase. They weren’t five friends from back in the day. They met through various channels and formed along the way,” Brinkman told Pollstar. “They’re such hard workers and a … highly respected band that toured non-stop to grab the fan base they continue to build.”

Photo: Steve Ziegelmeyer

Knight added that although Trampled By Turtles has been labeled a string band, it can’t be pigeonholed.

“I think there’s a point in music where it’s just good and it doesn’t need to be stuck in some genre to get across to many people,” he told Pollstar. “At some point, music is just music and it goes across all boundaries and that’s what these guys have been able to do.”

Trampled By Turtles’ current tour runs through Dec. 20, after which Brinkman said the plan is to continue to “play in front of as many people as we can.”