Trampled By Turtles fire up the Paradise

A review of Trampled By Turtles at the Paradise Rock Club on April 18, 2012

, Staff Writer

Little banter. No pretense. No elaborate stage setup. Just five guys, some strings, and blast of mountain bluegrass. Trampled By Turtles put on an epic, whiskey-soaked night of banjo jams, spastic fiddle solos, and flat-out rockers at Boston’s Paradise Rock Club last week.

Though their latest release, Stars and Satellites, is a bit of a departure from what Turtles fans may expect, their live show is still a fantastic blend of fast and slow, mellow and frantic. This is a band that creates such frenzy during a performance, it’s easy to forget that there isn’t even a drummer onstage, and you wonder just how the hell they pull it off.

The sold-out crowd was ready to rock from the get-go, and as Dave Simonett started things off by strumming the opening chords to “Midnight on the Interstate,” it was clear this show would have a more expansive feel than prior TBT shows. The more subdued, mournful side of the new album was apparent, though things often made the jump to hyperspace.

Ryan Young is an absolute madman on the fiddle, and was often the point of attention. “Walt Whitman”, a rambling nomad anthem, was a solid showcase of Young’s fiddle. In fact, pretty much every time his bow touches string, something magical happens.

But make no mistake, Trampled By Turtles are a band whose sum is greater than its parts.Creating a dervish of sonic insanity is what this band is all about. It’s not about one guy. It’s about five guys making a ton of music and at the Paradise, their sound was huge. “Codeine” was a fast and heavy bruiser that left a dent in the crowd, while “Wait So Long” was a jump-around sing along.

Creating a dervish of sonic insanity is what this band is all about. For the better part of 90 minutes, the quintet of new-generation bluegrass heroes showed that they’re ready to take things to the next level.

These United States were a solid starter plate, serving up down-home dirty rock that was a great pairing to Trampled By Turtles’ steady bluegrass.

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