Truckstop Preachers
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Truckstop Preachers


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The best kept secret in music


"Truckstop Preachers (4 on the Floor) Pops into Gear for French Tour"

Truckstop Preachers (4 on the Floor) pops into gear for French tour
By Rebecca Sulock - The Herald

Who knew the French loved honky-tonk music?

Members of one Rock Hill-based band will capitalize on that affinity when they cross the pond for a stint in Europe.

Tonight, local hard-drivin' honky-tonk outfit Truckstop Preachers (4 on the Floor) plays the Long Branch saloon in Rock Hill. Next week, the group begins its tour of France at a pub in St. Simeux. The band will play five dates, including two festivals, Cripple Creek and Tarascountry.

"They like Americana music" in Europe, said lead vocalist Nathan Palmer, referring to a category that includes varying degrees of blues, country and roots music. "We're stars over there right now," he joked.

This from a band whose "South Carolina 2003 Tour" T-shirt includes such venues as the Pillow Fighting Championship in Blackstock and Phil's Port-a-John Palace in Traveler's Rest.

How do you go from Rock Hill's Tropical Escape Café to a French music festival of thousands? Two years ago, Truckstop Preachers (4 on the Floor) played a show at Puckett's Farm Equipment in Charlotte, where they met Liane Edwards, a Concord, N.C., native, now a country musician in France.

"I think she's kinda big there," said Glenn Jones, rhythm guitarist.

Edwards liked the band's sound and helped members organize the tour.

"I saw the guys on stage in Charlotte and thought they were really fun," Edwards said in an e-mail from her home in France. "I thought they would go over well here, and decided to organize something for them." In return, the guys are going to hook her up when she comes to play the Southeast.

Right now, members of Truckstop Preachers (4 on the Floor) have ambitious aspirations of their own. "We're going to dominate France," said Jeff Faulkner, the group's bassist.

Could it be true? Their song "Double-Grave," from the newly released CD "Cowboys and Engines," shares the playlist of Radio Winschoten in the Netherlands with Loretta Lynn and Jack White's "Portland Oregon" and Dwight Yoakam and Ralph Stanley's "Miner's Prayer." The playlist is downloadable and is shared by several European radio rings. Check it out at Some of the English text on the site is pretty funny, colorful enough not to be reprinted here.

"Country music is doing pretty well, but we don't get a lot of media coverage," Edwards explained. "Lots of French people love the States and everything represented by that: Harley Davidson, country music, western mount, etc."

Truckstop Preachers (4 on the Floor) credits its European success to the boldness of the radio overseas: DJs aren't afraid to play songs that haven't been spoon-fed to them by record companies.

And the band's sound is unusual . . . just don't call the band country-rock, they said. Or rockabilly. "Rockin' like Dokken," Harper suggested. "Amped-up country." "Buck Owens on steroids," offered lead guitarist Lee Goodwin.

Members pepper their live shows with covers like "Sam's Place" by Buck Owens and "Mama Tried" by Merle Haggard, but as the CD attests, the boys can write their own songs pretty darn well. Recorded at Hyperactive Studios in Rock Hill, "Cowboys and Engines" features 11 songs of unadulterated honky-tonk aesthetic. Meaning, songs about women and prison and fightin.'

Truckstop Preachers (4 on the Floor) adds its droll take to the tradition, though, with lyrics such as "No gas, water, sewer or phone, I had to get a title loan," from the song "Broke, Locked Up or Dead."

"Cowboys and Engines," released Wednesday, is available at Woody's Music on Charlotte Avenue, where a number of the band's members work. Better get a copy before the Frenchies snap 'em all up.

Rebecca Sulock • 329-4076 •
Getting down

Requirements for the honky-tonk atmosphere? Songs about fightin,' a stint or several in prison, and plenty of evil women.

Some highlights:

• "Down, Down, Down." Danny Guyton, an instructor at Woody's music, plays banjo on this one -- he also helped produce the album.

• "Broke, Locked Up or Dead." This song has hilarious lyrics. "We want never to take ourselves too seriously," Faulkner said. "We're not the sad songwriters," Jones said. Another song with laugh-out-loud moments is "Hit'N'Run..." with instructions on how to never lose a fight. During live shows, Harper has been known to take off running into the parking lot, Jones said.

• "Highway 9" is slower and moodier. The highway runs from Lancaster County to the beach, Faulkner said, and he wrote the song five years ago when he lived there. It's purty.

• Banjo brightens the darkly-themed "Double Grave," currently on the playlist at Radio Winschoten in The Netherlands. It's wild to hear the DJ introduce the song, Glenn said, "he's speaking Dutch and it's 'blah-blah-blah-blah, Four on the Floor, blah-blah-blah-blah, Rock Hill, South Carolina." To check it out, visit www.radiowins - The Herald

"Let Yourself be Converted to the Truckstop Preachers"

All you rockabilly buckaroos, it's time for some riding' and ropin' to lasso in some high-octane outlaw honky-tonk from The Truckstop Preachers tonight at Tropical Escape Café in Rock Hill. Yi-pi-i-ay, yi-pi-i-o, trust these hometown heroes to keep the energy rowdy with their blend of raw roots rock and country raunch 'n' roll.

This Rock Hill-based quartet features Lee Goodwin on lead guitar and vocals; Glenn Jones on rhythm guitar and vocals; Jeff Faulkner on bass; Mike Elder on drums; and the wild and raucous vocal stylings of the right honorable Nathan Palmer.

Together these ministers of musical merriment rip through a tent revival revelation of Bakersfield sound meets old-time country amped up with a bit of hot rocking. For band info, go to

- Debby "Jet" Jennings - The Herald - Debby "Jet" Jennings

"Truckstop Preachers - CD Review - Le Cri du Coyote"

After seeing a great concert from an unknown band, there is always a little concern that the recording will live up to the show just witnessed. Will this high energy show transcend to the CD?

My worry immediately disappeared. It begins foot to the pedal with the guitars of Lee Goodwin and Glenn Jones, then the drumming of Mike Elder and the bass of Jeff Faulkner following. Finally, the voice of Nathan Palmer comes to pose itself on top and, in the pile, a quick turning banjo joins the group on the second track entitled, “Down, Down, Down” a tale of trucker’s woes. The rest of the album is quite hot, but does not prevent the group from slowing down the rhythm for a couple of broken hearted numbers including the magnificent "Broke, Locked Up, or Dead".

It's worth noting that all of the songs except for the live track are originals written and recorded by the band. On stage however, the band pulls off their own tasty renditions of Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Ernest Tubb, and Merle Haggard tunes. Rock 'n' Roll? Honky-Tonk? Trucker country? In fact, it's these all at the same time for this group in which the voice of the singer is located partly between Dale Watson, Junior Brown and Johnny Cash.
- Le Cri du Coyote - Jean-Jacques Corrio

"Truckstop Preachers CD Review - Amps 11"

Somewhere between Johnny Cash and the Supersuckers, a new country and rockabilly scene is beginning to emerge. I’m not talking about some MTV or CMT the Dixie Chicks and countless others are even worse. It’s enough to make a grown man cry. Having grown up listening to my daddy crank up Hank Senior or Johnny Cash while two-stepping around the house with my mamma, I ought to know what true country really is. These days they call it alternative country. That’s where my story begins.

Along my life’s numerous journeys, I had lost my way. I abandoned country music and became a punk rocker. You name it, and I listened to it. And while I still hold a warm spot in my heart and a Dead Kennedy’s tattoo on my back to remind me of my love for punk, I knew that something was missing. I yearned for the simpler sounds I could still hear resonating from the RCA Hi-Fi that my daddy bought at Montgomery Wards. As fate would have it my good buddy Ronnie loaned me his Eddie Spaghetti CD and I was back on the country bandwagon! As I began to investigate, I noticed that the south had a burgeoning Alternative Country and Rockabilly scene that I didn’t even know existed. I soon began listening to everything I could by The Drive-By Truckers, Hank Williams the Third, The Two Dollar Pistols and numerous others. Around this time Ronnie approached me with a CD from a group of upstarts out of Rock Hill named The Truckstop Preachers. You see, he’d been approached to do a review on the Preachers new album. Well, Ronnie’s not much of a speaker let alone a writer. Knowing that I’m a man of many talents old Ron asked for some assistance. With some trepidation I agreed.

The first time I popped the CD in I could tell I was in for a treat. While not quite “Live at Folsom Prison” these boys don’t fall too short of the mark. Kicking off with Vegas bound the Preachers sound like some sort of strange amalgamation between Johnny Cash and The Reverend Horton Heat. Truck driving music with an ass kicking country edge. Their song selection ranges from broken hearts to broken bones. Prison, lost love, fighting, and unfaithfulness are all covered in the CD’s dozen tracks. My only complaint is a couple of slower songs towards the end of the CD that tend to break up the raucous tone set at the beginning. I guess that’s just a bit of the punk rocker in me coming to the surface. All in all, I would have to say this is an excellent debut. While it’s got a little something for everyone, let me give you a bit of warning in advance. If you love Garth Brooks or Billy Ray Cyrus then I wouldn’t waste your time on this album. It’s not for you. However, if you’re into David Allen Coe, Buck Owens, Southern Culture on the Skids, Merle Haggard, or any of the other bands I’ve mentioned in a favorable light, then this album might be just what the doctor ordered. Give it a shot and let me know what ya think. Your friend, “Sweet” Lou Roberts. - “Sweet” Lou Roberts - Amps 11

"Truckstop Preachers @ Evening Muse August 20, 2005"

Truckstop Preachers w/ 500 Miles to Memphis; Kyler w/ Christine Havrilla

The first time I ever saw the Truckstop Preachers (then known as 4 on the Floor), I wasn't sure what to expect. Friends had told me to prepare for a lot of rock & roll rave-up, heavy on the guitar, but boasting enough countrified charm and respect for their elders (Hank Sr., Jr., and the Third, Ernest Tubb, Buck Owens) to make you forget most of the fellas were in their 20s. I've attended a few of their shows since then, and I'm happy to report my friends were right. Singer Nathan Palmer, boasting the best country voice this side of the 2 Dollar Pistols' John Howie, Jr., is worth the price of admission by his (poor) lonesome (me). With 500 Miles to Memphis. - Creative Loafing (Charlotte) - Tim Davis


EP - Self Released Demo 2002
Live & Alone - Recorded Live 2003
Cowboys & Engines - 2004
Tuckstop Preachers - Look Out Mabel LOM1313


Feeling a bit camera shy


When today's country music is driven by cowboy wanna-be's and prom queens who couldn't cut it on MTV, Truckstop Preachers make it a point to deliver freight loads of raw honky tonk music to their audience.

It's this respect that has attracted a congregation of real music listeners to the Truckstop Preachers. Loyal country music listeners are attracted to the truthful song writing. At the same time, fans of hard driving rock anticipate a gritty rock driven beat that brings them out of their seats.

Truckstop Preachers originally formed as 4 on the Floor in 2001. They performed thoughout the Carolinas, honing their honky tonk prowess, in every hole-in-the-wall that would have them. In a few years, they were welcomed by crowds up and down the east coast. While perfecting their sound they put together a hymnal of original material that would soon be their first nation wide release.

In 2004, still as 4 on the Floor, the band took their first album "Cowboys and Engines" to Europe. On this pilgrimage, they performed in front of thousands at festivals and European honky tonk venues and came away with a converted following.

After realizing the potential of the music, they made a bold move and changed the band name to Truckstop Preachers at the beginning of 2005. Realizing they had a message to send to those sinning souls of today's country music, Truckstop Preachers appeared to be a logical change.

Since then, the band rereleased the album with an additional live cut from one of their Bakersfield heroes, Buck Owens. The self titled album was marketed and promoted through national radio stations and within a couple of months made it to the Americana Top 50. Quite a feat for a band with no huge record deal backing them up.

They've spent the past years opening up for national acts such as Dwight Yoakam, Dale Watson, Southern Culture on the Skids, David Allan Coe, Kevn Kinney (Drivin and Crying), Cross Canadian Ragweed, and 38 Special.

The Preachers music defies any easy categorization. Each member of the Truckstop clergy bring their own background to form the sound heard from the stage. Nathan Palmer, lead vocalist, attests his rich baritone voice from the likes of Ernest Tubb and Johnny Cash, while his stage presence resembles that of Jim Morrison and Jeff Clayton (Antiseen). Lee Goodwin's heavy guitar riffs stem from legends Joe Perry, Red Simpson, and Don Rich. Mike Elder's ink covered arms bang out the beats of his punk and rock upbringing. Jeff Faulkner lays down the smooth walking lines that were inspired by classic country bass players of the past along with newer country inspired music, Whiskeytown and Wilco. Glenn Jones rounds out the combination with deep bluegrass roots along with traditional country interests that reach from New Grass Revival to Johnny Horton.

This cross denominational background creates a unique mix of honky tonk that is hard to describe. Their trucking and rockabilly stylings have transformed audiences into loyal fans of the music and shows. It's clear to see that the interstates will run long and wide for these evangelists as they spread the good word of country music!