Something is Brewing with The Turnpike Troubadours

UPDATE: The Turnpike Troubadours Are Back Together

Look. If you know anything about music, and anything about the Turnpike Troubadours, you had to know that betting against a reunification of this band after the indefinite hiatus they announced on May 31st, 2019 was a foolish proposition, no matter how bleak it appeared to be at times.

There’s a reason The Eagles had to name their 1994-1996 tour and a subsequent live album Hell Freezes Over. It’s because they all had to eat their words when they said a new tour and album would never happen. It’s not just the money, it’s the camaraderie, and the deep friendships that exist in these bands that you just can’t cast off, no matter how severe the drama may seem in the near term. Sure, sometimes bands do split for good. But until they start putting bodies in the ground, never count them out.

Folks are flipping out today because the Turnpike Troubadours updated their website with a graphic simply saying “Coming Soon,” and they also wiped their Instagram page clean. Is this the first sign that the long suffering indefinite hiatus of the Turnpike Troubadours is likely coming to an end in the near future? Yes, it is. Am I at liberty to say how I know this information, or give any further details on what might transpire? No, I am not. And in truth, you don’t want to know the details yet anyway. That would be like taking a peek at your Christmas presents before Thanksgiving. It erases all the fun. And whatever the Turnpike Troubadours have in store, that is for them to announce, and on their terms.

What I can tell you is that after the Turnpike Troubadours dissolved their management contract with Cory McDaniels in a rather messy situation, the band’s affairs are currently being managed by Jon Folk, who is the owner and CEO of the booking agency Red 11. Jon Folk is also the booking agent for the band. At this point, it’s pretty likely something is going to happen, whether it’s a new album, or a new tour, or both.

All signs have been pointing positive for a while now. Evan Felker got sober, which was the underlying reason for the indefinite hiatus in the first place. In March when revealing a new album from Turnpike bassist RC Edwards and Amber Watson and their project RC and the Ambers, Turnpike Troubadours steel guitarist Hammerin’ Hank Early (who also plays on the RC album) said, “Wish I could give you some good news, but I’ve been told not to share any details about all the good news I’d love to share.”

In May in a response to a comment on an Instagram post by Evan Felker’s wife Staci, she responded to the question on if they will ever tour again, “Yeah, he’ll play again someday, but we’ve really loved and appreciated the time to just be a normal family.” Also, Ryan Engleman who had been touring with Reckless Kelly has let that gig expire. He has been seen recently playing in the band of Turnpike fiddle player Kyle Nix called The 38’s.

But all of these folks were off the road, and out of the public eye for large portions of October, leading to speculation that perhaps something was brewing behind-the-scenes in the studio. But strong rumors that the band was supposed to record an album in September either were incorrect, or those plans fell through, potentially when the producer they had lined up backed out. (More on that in the future).

But either way, the “Coming Soon” proclamation is the strongest indication yet that something is indeed coming, and perhaps sooner than later. In May, Saving Country Music placed the odds on a Turnpike Troubadours reunification at 80%. Let’s up those odds now to 95%. And let’s all stay on our toes, and hope we’ll be delivered a country music Christmas present soon.

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