Turnpike Troubadours
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Turnpike Troubadours

Band Americana

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Jun
26
Turnpike Troubadours @ The Mercury Ballroom

Louisville, Kentucky, United States

Louisville, Kentucky, United States

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Hitting the Turnpike

If you enjoy the country and southern rock blend of Red Dirt boys like Ragweed and Boland and are willing to expand your play list, you might try the new kids on the block, Turnpike Troubadours. With two members from Tahlequah, a couple from Stillwater and one from Durant, these boys are an "all-Oklahoma" band that brings its own touch to the local Americana and honky-tonk scene.

A good friend handed me a copy of the Troubadours' new CD, Bossier City, last week and it grabbed my attention immediately. So much that I had to make a call or two to catch up with front man Evan Felker to get the lowdown on the band and what it's doing.

As with so many other bands, Felker and guitarist Casey Sliger met in college and started playing as an acoustic duo, eventually expanding to a trio by picking up bassist RC Edwards when his previous band broke up. Over the course of time, drummer Chad Masters (previously of Potential Getaway Drivers) and fiddle/mandolin/multi-instrumentalist Kyle Nix joined the fold and the group took shape as the Turnpike Troubadours in November of 2006. Since then, the band has been bouncing around Oklahoma, developing a steady following in Tahlequah, Stillwater, Durant and Ada, and is just starting to get its foot in the door in Tulsa.

Now, I know that Southern rock and honky-tonk bands are easy to come by, especially in Oklahoma and Texas, but let's admit it--most of them suck. They're a bunch of Skynyrd, Black Crowes or Ragweed wannabes playing the same crappy covers that we're all sick of and a few originals that don't even measure up to the low bar they've already set. Fortunately, a few separate themselves from the dung heap with solid songwriting and a real identity, as do the Turnpike Troubadours.

Felker's writing tends to have a more rural feel, touching heavily on folk and bluegrass, giving the songs a more picturesque quality. Originally from Okemah, he's got a healthy respect for Woody Guthrie, especially Guthrie's vivid lyrics and willingness to address more substantial subject matter. That influence does come through in waves, but so do ripples of Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, early Eagles, Haggard and even a hint of Crosby Stills and Nash.

Although Felker's songs are predominant on the disc, he doesn't have the song writing cornered. Edwards and Sliger also have contributions on the disc that highlight different strengths within the band. According to Felker, "both are very literate songwriters. It's interesting the way they look at things."

Edwards' song "Easton and Main" has the feel of a classic country song and lyrics that drop you right outside the door of the Cain's. Instead of your average Tulsa name drop, you know with a single listen that Edwards knows the town and the Ballroom, which makes you feel like you're there with him.

Sliger's additions, on the other hand, unveil a bluesier side of the band, adding more groove to "Solid Ground" and a hint of Allman Brothers on "Austin to Ashes." By the end of the disc, Felker even reveals a little of his rock side, dipping into Fogerty and Creedence territory with "Rollin' On."

Turnpike Troubadours will be at Mercury Lounge on Friday evening, December 7, opening for the Brandon Clark Band and introducing themselves to the Boston District. Cover is $5, and you can count on the night getting a little rowdy as the group puts a little extra rock and honky-tonk into its live show to get the audience worked up
- Urban Tulsa Weekly


Turnpike Troubadours- Bossier City
CD Review



If you’re looking for something just a little outside the box, something new, something different: Look no further, Turnpike Troubadours (TT) are the ticket. From the first track this CD grabbed my attention as being something that was going to be amazing. The title track Bossier City is one of those tunes that will get stuck in your ears faster than a pop track off the radio. “What mamma don’t know won’t hurt her, that’s what he always says. I’m going down to Bossier City, gonna drink these cares away.” It has that bluegrassy feel that keeps repeating in your brain for hours.

The band claims roots here in Stillwater, but most of their members are form places all around the state of Oklahoma. Bossier City is the group’s debut album. These seasoned musicians give more that a novice attempt at a debut effort on the album. While the production might not be the greatest I’ve heard, for a first attempt its better than most. No basement recording here; and the songwriting more than makes up for very few production flaws.

I do have to give props to NME design for the CD and case art. Very, very cool. I’m a big fan of that guy; he does some amazing looking shit. If I didn’t know better, I would say this album was made by a major label artist.

Track 4, Easton & main should hit home to a lot of listeners, I know I’ve been there… “At Cain’s ballroom in Tulsa, soaking up a bourbon stain, on the corner of Easton & Main.”


The majority of the album was written by lead singer, Evan Felker. Evan surprised me with the maturity in some of the songs. Content of the material seems as though it was written by a very seasoned songwriter, and is to be appreciated. The rest of the band is made up of R.C. Edwards on Bass, Chad Masters on Drums, Casey Sliger on guitar. This CD also gives credit to John Fullbright for a whole slew of instruments, but I have yet to see John play with them live. TT also throws Kyle Nix in on fiddle occasionally. So you never know exactly what you’re gonna get on any given night.

Overall I fell like this is a really solid first effort for these guys and I can’t wait to see where it evolves from here. You can catch the Turnpike Troubadours this Saturday at Roosters in Stillwater, or anytime at www.myspace.com/turnpiketroubadors

Rock out….
Tabasco- 2007


- Payne County Line


Discography

Bossier City - 2007

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