No country music outfit deserved a berth on the vaunted Austin City Limits stage more than the reigning Saving Country Music Artist of the Year The Turnpike Troubadours. And that’s exactly what they got when they were finally given the opportunity on December 5th, packing the Moody in downtown Austin to tape an episode that is now set to air this Saturday, February 17th. Also appearing on the episode is Chris Stapleton, so there’s double the reason to watch. It is the final episode of the current ACL season. Check your local PBS listings for specific airing times.
This is a huge honor for a band that’s been making big waves in the Texas and Red Dirt music scene for nearly a decade, including selling out Austin’s Moody Theater for regular gigs over the last couple of years. This will be the Turnpike’s first opportunity at a national broadcast, and is well-deserved considering the size of their following, and the influence they have in the Texoma music scene.
Turnpike’s latest record, A Long Way From Your Heart, debuted at #3 on the Billboard Country Albums chart upon its release on October 20th, with strong sales behind the critically-acclaimed effort that continues to place the band near the very top of independent country music. Signed with Thirty Tigers, and with little help from radio beyond regional play in Oklahoma and Texas, they continue to show what quality music and grassroots efforts can result in.
They are led by frontman and songwriter Evan Felker who is the everyman poet of our time. He possesses the ability to make his stories feel like all of ours, and somehow give those stories the same feelings we all feel during the momentous events in our lives. Incredibly insightful, just enough troubled to make him real, and plucked right out of the Heartland with an authenticity impossible not to love.
Ahead of the broadcast, a video for “The Housefire” has been made available to wet your whistle. So make an appointment for Saturday, or get that DVR set.