Blue Turtle Seduction
The iPod and other similar devices have, no doubt, revolutionized the way we’re introduced new music. But has the iPod had any influence on the music itself?
If it has, South Lake Tahoe’s Blue Turtle Seduction is the product of a new generation of music enthusiasts.
Combine as many genre names and adjectives as you can; there is no combination of words that could describe Blue Turtle Seduction. But for naming’s sake, let’s try funky-jazzy-reggae-rockin'-hip-hop with splashes of bluegrass and electronica.
“We are definitely the iPod generation, you know?” says Glen Stewart, who sings and plays the harmonica and wind instruments. “As a group, we are listening to a bunch of different stuff, and we pass it all around. One night we can play with a funk band and the next night with bluegrass band.”
With genre-breaking styles come genre-breaking fans. According to Rob Barker, the entertainment manager at a gas station-slash-top-notch restaurant and music venue at the base of Yosemite in Lee Vining, Calif., Blue Turtle Seduction is the only band he has booked that draws fans of all ages.
“People travel from all around to see these guys play,” Barker says. “And it’s everyone—older folks and 18-year-olds alike get worked into a frenzy at their shows.”
While the music is swayed by modern technology, the members of Blue Turtle Seduction say their sound is also a product of the Tahoe lifestyle. Everything from the beauty of the Sierra to the male-heavy population in small mountain towns is illustrated in the song, “La Nieve,” which is written in both English and Spanish: “Dónde están las señoritas?/Por eso dame más cervezas/The circle grows over the Sierra/We run our toes through la tierra/We write our names in the sands of Tahoe/Looking towards Tallac for the signs of winter snow.”
“We are influenced by Tahoe and all the wild folks that come through,” says Jay Seals, the lead vocalist and guitarist. “Tahoe is a transient area, which means you come into contact with a huge variety of people.”
The band members say Mobil Mart at Tioga Pass is their favorite place to play, but Reno shows also rank high. The band played one of its first out-of-Tahoe gigs at the Zephyr and has since been back to play the now-closed Blue Lamp and the Liquid Lounge, which Stewart says has been one of the most exciting venues on the road.
“Reno shows, especially at the Liquid Lounge, just go off,” he says. “It’s wild there. They will go all night.”
Blue Turtle Seduction’s first studio CD, Under Sierra Ground, offers a good introduction to the band, but the musicians say the live performances really showcase the band’s talent. To spread the word about its live performances, the band is going to release a CD of live recordings this fall. On this record, other influences, such as worldly music star Manu Chao and Jack Black’s project, Tenacious D, will show themselves.
The real question for iPod poster boys, Blue Turtle Seduction: Where did they get the name?
According to Stewart, no other names came under consideration. It was just meant to be.
Engineer Nick Firth offers a more quizzical answer, which seems to fit the band’s mantra.
“Some would say it was an epiphany,” Firth says. “Others would call it a momentary lapse of reason.”