Veteran Minnesota String Band Trampled by Turtles Is Nonetheless Getting Higher on ‘Alpenglow’

To launch Alpenglow, the tenth Trampled by Turtles album, songwriter-guitarist Dave Simonett introduced a set of solo demos to Jeff Tweedy’s studio in Chicago, the place the band began taking part in them for the primary time. “We didn’t do any rehearsing earlier than we bought into the studio, which I’m certain Jeff was anxious about,” says Simonett. “We’re unfastened like that.” How unfastened? Properly, unfastened sufficient to complete the classes days forward of schedule and nonetheless take time within the center to take heed to Tweedy’s ideas, pull the songs aside, and patiently put them again collectively. 


Trampled by Turtles 
(Thirty Tigers) 

The result’s the strongest album Trampled by Turtles has ever made, and due to Tweedy and his guitar assortment—together with a Thirties Gibson-made Kel Kroydon KK-1, a Nineteen Forties Martin 0-17, a Fifties Gibson J-185, and a latest Waterloo WL-Ok—it’s additionally their best-sounding album, full of a sonic richness that retains these songs driving ahead, regardless of what number of occasions Simonett needs to sing about blurred imaginative and prescient, blinding lights, and damaged hearts. 

In another world, a strains as weighty as this—“It’s so onerous, it’s so onerous to carry on,” sung 4 occasions in a row as a singalong refrain—would sound weary. Right here, by way of the alchemy of banjo (Dave Carroll), bass (Tim Saxhaug), cello (Eamonn McLain), fiddle (Ryan Younger), and mandolin (Erik Berry), the track sounds positively anthemic, and there’s a beer-swigging, fist-pumping video to go together with it, too. That’s how good these guys sound, flying by the seat of their pants and someway rising with the right steadiness of onerous truths, onerous partying, and the joyful noise of a Minnesota evening.

This text initially appeared within the March/April 2023 difficulty of Acoustic Guitar journal.