Festival Palomino – 9/20 – An Interview with Ryan Young


By Samuel Wigness

Trampled by Turtles, with help from First Avenue and 93.1 The Current, has invited their favorite bands to celebrate Festival Palomino at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN this Saturday.

The band has played dozens of festivals since their formation in 2003, but Palomino will be the first festival to call their own since Log Jam at Jack’s in Mille Lacs in 2008. The event planners considered booking the Walker Art Center or blocking off streets in Downtown Minneapolis for the show, but eventually landed on Canterbury Park.

Fiddle player Ryan Young said while First Avenue and The Current did the dirty work to make Palomino happen, the band members enjoyed hand-picking groups to invite.

“All the bands are bands that we have played with before,” Young said. “We like their music and we like them personally. People that like Trampled by Turtles will like the other bands, they’re all under the same musical umbrella as us. It will be just like hanging out with buddies we don’t see often enough.”

Eight other bands from across the nation including Low, The Head and the Heart, Field Report and The Apache Relay will join Trampled, but Young said he is most excited for Spirit Family Reunion.

“They are one of the least known bands on the roster,” Young said. “But I’ve played with them before and been really into them the last six to nine months. It’s worth it to check out the bands that people haven’t heard of. We hand-picked them and really respect them all.”

While Young couldn’t say whether the performers will join each other on stage, he welcomes the idea of it and claims anything can happen.

Toting a fiddle and the bushiest beard in the band, Young joined Trampled by Turtles in 2006 after a difficult choice to leave his former band Pert Near Sandstone.

“I honestly had some second thoughts before joining Trampled, just because I was already invested in my former band,” he said. “It got a little messy for a while, but time heals all wounds and now both bands are doing great and I still play with Pert when I can.”

Young claims he didn’t grow up listening to folk music and doesn’t model himself after other violinists. Rather, his creativity stems from listening to how other instruments, from saxophone to drums, are used to fill musical voids.

Although speculation remains, Young claims his facial hair is not the source of his violin playing prowess. In fact, given the choice between shaving his beard and being unable to play any of his seven fiddles for a month, Young would lop the hair off in no time.

“I’m a bad shaver and rarely shave the entire beard off, and I have it in all the pictures and videos,” he said. “But there’s maybe been one vacation in the last 10 years that I didn’t play for a whole week. Other than that I play every day or every other day.”

With such dedication to his music, Young said he would be up to the challenge if the Devil came to Minnesota looking for a soul to steal, as per the Charlie Daniel’s song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

“I think I’d have a chance,” he said. “As long as the Devil doesn’t cheat, which he probably would, but I would give him a run for his money.”


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