The Upshot: You can’t fake authenticity, and this is one of the year’s best bluegrass/folk efforts to date.
BY JOHN B. MOORE
It’s been four years since the Minnesota-based bluegrass/folk collective Trampled by Turtles last put out a record, their longest stretch between albums. And the time off certainly didn’t dull the songwriting process as the group came back sharper than ever, Life Is Good On The Open Road picks up nicely where the band left off with Wild Animals. They haven’t changed the formula much at all; the harmonies are still honeyed and the banjo and acoustics front and center. From their slow numbers, like the stunning “I’m Not There Anymore” or the cautionary “I Went to Hollywood,” to more frantic tracks like “Blood in the Water” or the stellar opener, “Kelly’s Bar,” the band shows off a dexterity for finding a song for just about everyone.
There were a lot of bands that swapped out their electric guitars for banjos after the success of groups like Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers, but Trampled By Turtles prove you can’t fake authenticity, turning in one of this year’s best bluegrass/folk albums and making it seem effortless in the process.
DOWNLOAD: “I’m Not There Anymore,” “Kelly’s Bar”