Trampled by Turtles, or TBT, is an indie folk band from Duluth Minnesota, composed of Dave Simonett on guitar, Tim Saxhaug on bass, Dave Carroll on banjo, Erik Berry on mandolin and Ryan Young on fiddle. (Yeah, I know…you’re already having fun and you haven’t even heard them yet.)
The group hit it big with their first studio release in 2004, but their fifth album, Palomino, has remained on the Billboard Top 10 bluegrass charts for the past year.
They’re also pretty popular on the festi circuit.
The band has performed at Coachella, Stagecoach, Bumbershoot and Pickathon. They’ve performed at Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Newport Folk Festival and ROMP Roots and Branches. In addition to Bonnaroo, they are scheduled to play the Sasquatch Festival, Lollapalooza, Firefly Festival, Rock the Garden, All Good and Newport Folk.
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears got their start in Austin, Texas in 2007. Joe Lewis was working at a pawn shop in Austin when he picked up a guitar and started performing at various open mic nights around the city. While Lewis was performing shows as part of a local blues trio, Zach Ernst, a member of the University of Texas Music and Entertainment Committee, booked him to open for Little Richard at the school’s annual Forty Acres Fest.
The band has grown substaintially since Lewis got his start. The Honeybears are now eight members strong and includes Ernst, Matt Strmiska, Ian Varley, Bill Stevenson, Jason Frey, Derek Phelps and Joe Woullard. The group opened for Spoon and Okkervil River in 2007, signed to Spoon’s Lost Highway Records in 2008 and played at both Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits the same year. In 2009 Esquire listed Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears as one of the “Ten Bands Set to Break Out” at the SXSW Festival.
Hailing from Wasilla, Alaska, Portugal. The Man features John Gourley on lead vocals and guitar, Jason Sechrist on drums, Ryan Neighbors on keyboard and Zachary Carothers on bass. The group got their start in 2002, when Gourley moved to Portland, Oregon and started up Anatomy of a Ghost. The band gained popularity fairly quickly but broke up within two years. Luckily, Gourley had been working on a side project, aka, Portugal. The Man.
Which is good, because the band has grown pretty quickly since it got its start in 2005, thanks in a large part to Gourley’s hypnotizing harmonies. He was named AP Magazine’s Best Vocalist of the Year in 2008 and has been featured in countless musical publications, many of which are sitting on my bookshelf right now.