Bright Lights

Bright Lights

Dead Man Winter includes three members of the Minneapolis bluegrass band Trampled By Turtles (singer-songwriter and guitarist Dave Simonett, fiddler Ryan Young, and bassist Tim Saxhaug) plus drummer Noah Levy (Golden Smog) and guitarist Erik Koskinen. While Trampled By Turtles fans will likely love this debut, Dead Man Winter is its own beast, and not only because of the absence of bluegrass. The tempos are often slower, the volume louder, and twangy electric guitar riffs play a central role as on the driving opener “Nicotine” or the edgy country rockers “Get Low,” “Cry for Help,” and “Industrial Day Break.” Showing their range, the band delivers finely crafted acoustic ballads sweetened by pedal steel and fiddle, along with catchy mid-tempo roots rock in “Wasteland,” “House of Glory,” and a version of “New Orleans,” a TBT song from their Palomino album. Much more than a side-project indulgence, Bright Lights is a superb debut.

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