Fresh Faces on the Festival Circuit: The Head and The Heart and Trampled by Turtles

The Head and The Heart - Photo: Kyle Johnson

If you scan the lineups of the festivals this summer, there are two groups of fresh faces that are popping up on the big ticket shows like Telluride and Newport. Each band is at opposite ends of the Americana spectrum, but I like them both. Here’s the bottom-line skinny…

The Head and The Heart: The good folks at Planet Bluegrass like to mix things up with some unexpected bands in the Telluride lineup. This year, one of those bands is one that that many indie rock fans know and love. The Head and The Heart – a band that is relentlessly compared to fellow Seattleites, Fleet Foxes – will follow the perennial Telluride opener, Tim O’Brien (with Kevin Burke). But that’s not all. The band, which is touring with Iron & Wine, follows a show at Sasquatch this weekend with appearances at festivals at Bonaroo and  Newport. The Head and The Heart’s self-titled album was released earlier this year and represents what I think might be the new Seattle sound. With bands like Fleet Foxes, The Head and The Heart, Hey Marseilles and even Brandi Carlisle, Seattle is lightening up a bit. (Videos below. And here’s a Seattle Times story with a deeper look at the band (print & video).)

Trampled by Turtles: On the other end of the spectrum, OCMS, Avett Bros and Felice Bros fans will easily take in the band of five Minnesotans, Trampled By Turtles. TBT is unpolished crazygrass, but with heartfelt writing, traditional musical talent and hints of gospel. The band’s latest album, Palomino, was released last year and is not their first, but has helped them get bigger bookings on national stages. Check out a few of their tunes below as well as this cool Twin Cities Public TV segment on the band.