This isn’t the 2010-2012 Turnpike Troubadours anymore. Not only are they no longer struggling to fill up venues, they just played three sold-out nights at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville (Aug. 10th – 12th), which according to attendees, turned out to be like a religious experience at the Mother Church.
Similar landmark opportunities are also popping up for the boys from Oklahoma, like being able to play the Newport Folk Festival recently, which is a bucket list moment for most any artist or band. And where we’ve rarely if ever seen Turnpike interviewed on camera, they sat down for a good one conducted by the Recording Academy/Grammys while playing Newport Folk.
“First album back we decided we wanted to do some shows together after we took a coupe of years off there. And so we started writing songs and putting some stuff together, and Shooter Jennings came on,” frontman Evan Felker says about their new album, A Cat In The Rain out August 25th. “We’re mutual fans of each other, and he came on to produce for us, and it turned out to be a really great experience, and I think a really good record.”
Guitarist Ryan Engleman talked about that magical moment when they first walked back out on stage after their hiatus, which has since become a moment in Red Dirt history. “The first time we stepped back on stage together at Cain’s, it was a lot of anxiety. It was like, ‘Can we do this? Can we make it all happen again?’ Fairly quickly we we’re like ‘Oh, we still have this thing that we have between each other and the crowd.'”
Bassist/songwriter RC Edwards says, “Playing with all of these guys again … being together in a room, we laughed for hours probably, and told stories. Making music with these guys again, there’s something about the break makes you not take it for granted … You don’t know how good you had it until you’re not doing it for a while.”
Watching the interview, you can feel the camaraderie among the group, and how it feels like they’re in a healthy place.
You may have never thought you would see names like “Ryman Auditorium,” “Newport Folk,” and “Grammys” associated with the Turnpike Troubadours. But even fewer might think you’d ever see them on the biggest radio show in mainstream country music, The Bobby Bones Show. But again, this is a new Turnpike Troubadours era, and when you’re selling out arenas in certain markets and three nights at the Ryman, other doors start to open for you.
Of course, Bobby Bones started the interview off making it about himself. “I will say this. I’m in Tahlequah a lot,” Bones said, which seemed like a ridiculous brag. But it turns out Bobby’s wife is from nearby Fort Gibson, and is a big Turnpike Troubadours fan, which helped facilitate the 12-minutes of interviews the band got on the air, as well as performing “Diamonds & Gasoline,” “Good Lord Lorrie,” and one of their new songs “Mean Old Sun.”
For some country music fans, it might feel like a clashing of two worlds to see the Turnpike Troubadours on The Bobby Bones Show. But it’s hard not to be happy they received the opportunity. It’s often said about Turnpike that they are the perfect bridge band for artists to jump off the mainstream bandwagon and onto the independent one. No better way to facilitate this than going behind enemy lines and making some rare video appearances.
The release of A Cat In The Rain could also be another landmark experience for the Turnpike Troubadours. With so much pent up appeal and anticipation for new music from the band, it could be a big moment in a continuation of them since returning in the spring of 2022.