Mountainous music

Adam Navone

Blue Turtle Seduction is a Lake Tahoe-based band that incorporates an eclectic range of sounds. The line-up includes harmonica-player and vocalist Glenn Stewart, fiddler and mandolinist Christian Zupancic, singer-songwriter-guitarist Jay Seals, bassist Stephen Seals and drummer Adam Navone. The band has the distinction of being the only band actually from the Sierra Nevada mountains to be performing at this year’s High Sierra Music Festival (June 30 - July 3 in Quincy, Calif., headlined by Michael Franti and Spearhead, Les Claypool and Bill Frisell, among others). Navone took some time away from the band’s tour in Hawaii to discuss the upcoming festival, Lake Tahoe and bestiality.

So, I know your music is song-based, but is there a lot of jamming on top of that?

There is. There’s a set structure for most of our songs, and we’ve recently been opening it up more and more. But we’re not really what a lot of people would consider a jam band. It’s not like we’re just going out there and playing two chords for 10 minutes and really dialing into what can come out of an impromptu session like that. We do go there but not very often. The songs have a set structure and just peeking into the doors to see what’s out there.

Where did the name of the band come from? Blue Turtle Seduction?

Actually, as part of our campaign of disinformation, we really can’t let that out yet. It’s still under wraps.

Well, it sounds like you’re advocating bestiality. Is that the case?

Well, that’s the first we’ve heard of that. But I’ll be sure to tell the guys—I’m sure they’ll get a kick out of that. But, no, we’re not advocating bestiality in any way. I will say that.

OK, good. You’re a Tahoe-based band—that seems to be a big part of what the band’s about. It’s pretty great being out here in Kauai and kind of seeing the other end of the spectrum of paradise. But Tahoe’s just so amazing. And I grew up there, so I’m definitely biased. The place is just awesome for adrenaline junkies like us. We’re all snowboarders, mountain bikers and hikers and just love being outside. And a lot of that comes through in the music. You can tell that we’re just all about having fun and leaving the drama behind. So it’s always great to be in Tahoe. It recharges us and energizes us. And we are from the High Sierras, so going to the High Sierra Music Festival is this culmination that we’ve been working towards.

This will be your first year playing the High Sierra Music Festival?

Well, we’ve gone as spectators, and then two years ago we actually brought a little PA and set up kind of a renegade stage. But, no, we’ve never officially played. This will be our first year.

What’s the festival like?

Well, High Sierra’s great. It’s four days of music, non-stop. I think there’s like over a hundred bands this year. It’s just awesome. You get to see all these up-and-coming acts, which is cool for us because these are people that we’re working with and, as a band, we don’t get to see much live music anymore, because we’re out there playing on the Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Its great to be on the other side again, watching music and getting inspired and seeing all these different influences and what’s going on out there. All these great up-and-coming acts and all the amazing headliners. It’s really a special experience.