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Continued: Minnesota's highwaymen: Six days on the road with Trampled by Turtles

While their van was tied up in D.C. traffic, the band started the Q&A with fans via the social-network website Reddit, with the fiddler typing on his phone.

Among the A’s and Q’s, the favorite response seemed to be, “Like toilet water splashing on your butt.” The question: “What’s it like listening to your earliest albums?”

While there’s truth in that reply, the band didn’t take most of the questions seriously. “Somebody asked who my favorite banjo player is, and I said me,” Carroll said. “That’s just a baldfaced lie.”

 

• • •

 

“I crave it. I could be on the road most of the year. I’m excited and get into the swing of things right away. I’ve joked about putting a roof and walls around my bed at home to make it more like sleeping in a bunk.”

Tim Saxhaug, bassist

NYC > ROCHESTER, N.Y.

Thursday, July 17

Gigs: “CBS This Morning,” Rochester’s Party in the Park

 

“Are you guys actually still a Duluth band, or have you all moved to Brooklyn?”

CBS news anchor Anthony Mason was doing his part to kill time with the band. An hour earlier, their sound check was just ending when TV monitors around the room started showing footage of an airplane crash in Ukraine.

The day started out unusually relaxed for band members waking up in $300-a-night mini-rooms at a Manhattan Holiday Inn. Nobody even tensed up when word came that the fiddle player had just gotten in the shower two minutes before the CBS van arrived.

As the van rolled up Avenue of the Americas, talk turned to the Q&A session from the night before (the “toilet water” line earned traction on Twitter) and the odd nature of TV royalty payments (the mandolinist recently received an $11 tax refund from California).

The band quickly learned about the odd world of TV newsrooms. As the Ukraine tragedy took flight on air, staffers one by one disappeared to the main news studio.

Tour manager Mike “D” Tholen clutched his phone tightly, checking the time and logistics of their next gig.

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  • Video: Trampled by Turtles lives for the road

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  • Video: Eclectic taste, fans define Trampled by Turtles’ style

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  • U.S. Senate staffer Jamie DeAtley, right, staked out a spot to greet singer Dave Simonett and the rest of Trampled by Turtles as they arrived at National Public Radio’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

  • Eamonn McLain demonstrated his own kind of pre-show ritual — and the fact that he’s about a decade younger than the rest of the band at 26 — before the big festival gig in Louisville, Ky.

  • Carroll found his own quiet if not quaint corner behind the Pisgah Brewing Co.’s outdoor stage to warm up his fingers, a pre-show ritual for most of the band members.

  • Dave Simonett on the band’s tour bus before their show in Black Mountain, N.C.

  • Trampled’s frontman took a last-minute smoke break before a WXPN-FM broadcast at World Café Live in Philadelphia — where he remembered a prior show that paid only in cigarettes.

  • The bigger the crowd, the shorter the sound check: Trampled by Turtles hit the stage running in front of about 10,000 fans at the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Ky., playing before fellow Minnesotans the Replacements. From left: Dave Simonett, Dave Carroll, Ryan Young and Erik Berry.

  • String tech Dave Feirn tuned Dave Simonett’s guitar a few minutes before Trampled by Turtles played to a crowd of 10,000 people at the Forecastle Festival in Louisville.

  • Before they began the sound check for their show in Black Mountain, N.C., the band ironed out the kinks in their rendition of the Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

  • As guitar tech Dave Feirn and tour manager Mike Tholen stood by, Dave Carroll cleared his eyes and Dave Simonett, Tim Saxhaug and Eamonn McLain tested their gear at the Forecastle Festival.

  • Trampled by Turtles’ taping of a segment for “CBS This Morning” at a studio in Manhattan was delayed and then postponed as the story of a Ukrainian airliner being shot down unfolded.

  • Erik Berry’s well-traveled mandolin.

  • Simonett dug out his luggage from the bus cargo hold to find a fresh T-shirt.

  • Who says kids don’t buy records anymore? A mostly young crowd filled the aisles for Trampled by Turtles’ in-store set and album signing at the Sound Garden in Baltimore.

  • Cellist Eamonn McLain finished his sound check for a “CBS This Morning” taping in New York as the story of a downed Ukrainian airliner unfolded onscreen behind them. The band’s appearance ultimately got bumped by the breaking news.

  • Trampled’s two Daves got to unwind during Beck’s set at the Forecastle Festival before flying home the next day, capping off a two-week stretch with a three-day break.

  • Engineer Kevin Wait adjusted the microphone during sound check for Trampled by Turtles’ “Tiny Desk Concert” taping at NPR’s offices in Washington, DC.

  • TRAMPLED BY TURTLES

    Playing: The Festival Palomino Sept. 20 at Canterbury Park in Shakopee. With: The Head & the Heart, Low, Charles Bradley, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Field Report, Spirit Family Reunion, more. Tickets: $34, FestivalPalomino.com.

    SEE AND HEAR

    At startribune.com/turtles: See a full photo gallery and video feature with Trampled by Turtles as well as their archived Letterman TV appearance.

    Tiny Desk Concert: NPR.org. WXPN Free at Noon: Archived at XPN.org.

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