The word “bluegrass” can sometimes be enough to send city-slickers running for the hills. Luckily, Trampled by Turtles was able to take advantage of music’s recent folk-revival and bring bluegrass back into the mainstream. The band, comprising acoustic guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, and fiddle, strums with fury, but also sings with heart and conviction. It may sound like a lot to handle, but these guys have mastered the skill of layering their instruments, whether in a frantic jig or a harmonized ballad. Headed toward Boston, where their fall tour stops at the House of Blues on Sept. 11., the band members checked in to detail their favorite tracks to perform live.
Tim Saxhaug bass, backing vocals :
“Are You Behind the Shining Star” is my current favorite. I like the break from the bluegrass/country feel. It’s fun to play a pop tune that sounds full with just acoustic instruments.
Ryan Young fiddle, backing vocals:
Typically my favorite song to play on tour is a new one. If we don’t have any new ones, then a song we haven’t played in a while is my favorite. By playing the same songs over and over we do get really tight on those particular tunes, but it can get stale. Throwing in a new one, or really old one keeps the show fresh for me.
Erik Berry mandolin, backing vocals:
My current favorite song to play right now is “Hollow.” The mandolin rhythm requires me to play at just the right tempo and in perfect sync with Dave S. I really like the level of listening and playing “just right” the song requires.
Dave Carrol banjo, backing vocals:
Currently, my favorite song to play with Trampled By Turtles is “Swimming Song” [by Loudon Wainwright III]. Even though it’s a cover, it’s fun to hear our bass player Tim Saxhaug crush that song. I love playing the line on the banjo and harmonizing on the verses.
Dave Simonett guitar, lead vocals:
My favorite song [to play live] is usually whatever is newest.
Trampled by Turtles performs with Hurray for the Riff Raff and Elephant Revival at the House of Blues on Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m. (Doors at 6:30 p.m.) Tickets: $31.65-$54.65. www.houseofblues.com/boston; 888-693-2583
Raffaela Kenny-Cincotta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org