I received the album Alpenglow by Trampled by Turtles a few weeks before the actual release. I just like the very special sound of the band and the songs on it. Release date of the twelve track album by the US band has been on 28th October 2022.
Trampled by Turtles – About the Artists
Tramples by Turtles mix folk, country and bluegrass elements. They are from Duluth in Minnesota, where they started to do music together in 2003. Dave Simonett leads the band as singer, guitarist and harmonica player. The band creates a very detailed sound with a nice set of instrumentalists, Tim Saxhaug (bass), Dave Caroll (banjo), Erik Berry (mandolin), Ryan Young (fiddle) and Earnonn McLain (cello). The band’s albums are quite successful, several long-plays lead the US Bluegrass Charts. Alpenglow is the first album since the 2018 Life Is Good on the Open Road.
Trampled by Turtles – Alpenglow – Track by Track
The twelve song album lasts 40 minutes.
1. It’s So Hard To Hold On
The opening track is already illustrating the advantages of the setup of Tramples by Turtles. The wide range of instruments gives a beautiful broad sound. On the other hand It’s So Hard To Hold On has a nice, handmade touch of music, which leads to a very personal touch. Nice song with a straight folk music touch.
2. Starting Over
The dominating instrument in Starting Over is the banjo. This increases the country music character of the song compared to the first one. But it also leads to a certain ease. Together with the nice melodic support by the fiddle, this song makes me smile.
3. Central Hillside Blues
The third song is named Central Hillside Blues. I would not really call it a blues track, but it is slowish, and has a melancholic-sad touch. On the other hand, this arrangement leads to a nice focus on the vocals by Dave Simonetti. Good one.
4. On The Highway
On The Highway has been one of the single releases – and this song definitely deserves that additional focus. The instruments go for a stronger volume and lead to a very present listen. Thereby, they play quite individual melodies, which merge into a very good complete sound. Well done.
5. A Lifetime To Find
The fifth song, another single release, is a good choice for country music lovers. The strumming instruments again create that handmade music feeling. The instruments individually play rather uninspired melodies, but mixing them to one listening experience does lead to some magic.
6. Nothing But Blue Skies
An late afternoon ride on a – not that dynamic – horse, the sun is setting and Nothing But Blue Skies. This all might sound a bit of too much kitsch, but I feel it would be a nice fit, for sure. Alternatively, maybe waiting in an out-of-nowhere house for a beloved and deeply missed guest. This song is creating so many associations, I pray for a music video and enjoy the listen.
7. Burlesque Desert Window
The seventh song has a nice rhythm and speed. I especially enjoy the middle part, where staccato-alike fiddle tunes feel to be the driver for a massive acceleration of the track. Very nicely done.
8. All The Good Times Are Gone
The eighth song comes with rather conventional and traditional country music chords, which are majorly driven by the banjo. Definitely a song which gives me enjoyable 3:30 minutes.
9. We’re Alright
We’re Alright has that a-lonely-ride-in-the-prairie vibe, which is presented in a lovely rich collaboration of the instruments, The cello and the mandolin feel very present in this song as well. The song does not feel heavy at all – another reason why I do enjoy it.
10. Quitting Is Rough
The plot of the song is a bit on the dramatic side – but overall I enjoy the nice vocal performance and the nice work on the instruments again.
11. The Party’s Over
A nice name for the last song of the album – but do you really feel as if you are not welcome any more while listening to this song? I don’t feel so at all. The arrangement of The Party’s Over is very intimate and private.
The party is over
And I can’t believe it
To say Goodbye
Goodbye and thank you, Trampled by Turtles!
Trampled by Turtles – Alpenglow – Spotify
Here is Alpenglow on Spotify:
Trampled by Turtles – Alpenglow – My View
Alpenglow is a really nice album, which is beautifully profiting from the range of instruments available to the band. The album is definitely an argument against sharing the money just between three or four band members at the end of the gig. These guys do a really nice job.
US Folk Music