Turnpike Troubadours’ Kyle Nix Debuts New Song ‘Lightning on the Mountain’

Well what do you know. That dude standing to the side of Evan Felker on stage all those years sawing away on the fiddle in the Turnpike Troubadours was a singer and songwriter himself, even though he never dropped as much as a hint on us over that time. But now in the coming years, Kyle Nix may not need a prefix or suffix of some band title for people to know his name. He will have made one all his own.

After it was revealed earlier this week that Kyle Nix not only has a debut record in the pipeline, but that it’s an expansive 17-track opus with all but one song written by Nix himself and conceptualized in the vein of Ennio Morricone, the burgeoning songwriter has unleashed a lead song and the title track from the record called “Lightning on the Mountain.”

A blazing tune of bootleg, intrigue, and power, it lives up to Kyle Nix’s promise that storytelling will be the centerpiece of his debut album, while the brazen and galloping tempo reminds one of Turnpike’s “Before The Devil Knows We’re Dead,” partly due to members of the Turnpike Troubadours itself being behind the effort. The Kyle Nix album will have plenty of slow and mid tempo songs too. But for now it’s time to barrel down the mountain with a load of illegal hooch, and lay waste to anyone getting in your way.

Let’s be honest, bootleg tales are a dime a dozen in country music, but this one includes a much more involved storyline. And as the title track from the record, don’t be surprised if it dovetails or sets up subsequent storylines. At the same time, “Lightning on the Mountain” is effective as an autonomous work.

When you’ve never heard someone sing before, you’re not quite sure what you’re going to get. Some credit Kyle Nix for performing “Austin to Ashes” on Turnpike’s out-of-print first record Bossier City, but that was actually early Turnpike guitar player Casey Slinger. Nonetheless, Nix proves on this first song singing lead that yes, he’s got “singer” in his arsenal too.

When dealing with conceptualized works, you can’t get too wrapped up in coming to hard conclusions with just one song. But what “Lightning on the Mountain” proves is that Kyle Nix as frontman is not just a lark. All Turnpike Troubadours fans look forward to a moment when all the players are united once again with Evan Felker in the middle. But for now, they’ll take when they can get. And if or whenever any reunification occurs, it won’t be out of the question to turn the mic over to Kyle Nix for a song or two.

Pre-Order Lightning on the Mountain


LYRICS:

The night is clear, the liquor is warm
The cases, in the back of the Ford
The Carolina mountainside had come to life
His pockets would be full by the morn

A red-faced man in a black Cadillac
Pulls in behind the truck
Says they'll burn the fields, blow up the still
If they don't get their cut

Well, there's Lightning on the Mountain
And there's fire in the still
Now Billy's got a new set of plans
And a Colt 45 in his hand

He lights a cigar with a crooked smile and says, 
"Do we have a deal?"
Bill doesn't move, he just spits in the dirt and says,
"Get your ass out of Waynesville"

They unstrap their pistols and soak the fields
throw dynamite into the barn
He winks at Billy as he slowly kneels
And lights it all with his cigar

Well, there's Lightning on the Mountain
And there's fire in the still
Now Billy's got a new set of plans
And a Colt 45 in his hand

He tracked them down just outside of town
To a station by a Blueridge mine
Tonight that son-of-a-bitch is gonna light his cigar
With the help of hellfire

Well, there's Lightning on the Mountain
And there's fire in the still
Now Billy's got a new set of plans
And a Colt 45 in his hand-
And a Colt 45 in his hand
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