11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

There’s a windswept Great Plains feel to Turnpike Troubadours’ songs, heard in the moody content of their lyrics and the finely honed quality of their musicianship. With their third album, Goodbye Normal Street, the Oklahoma combo edge further toward mainstream country while retaining their Dustbowl-bred authenticity. Lead singer/songwriter Evan Felker excels at portraits of troubled lovers, ragged vagabonds, and hard-pressed common folk, all rendered with a mix of grit and delicacy worthy of Townes Van Zandt and Gram Parsons. The band taps into Appalachian balladry on “Gin, Smoke, Lies,” takes a whack at folk-rock on “Morgan Street,” and spices up some hard country with Cajun seasoning on “Quit While I’m Ahead.” “Southwestern Son” and “Blue Star” stand out for their subtle, telling sketches of American fighting men. Rousing tunes like “Before the Devil Knows We’re Dead” are balanced by mournful numbers like “Gone Gone Gone” and “Empty Like a Drum.” Jamie Wilson lends her honeyed vocals to “Call a Spade a Spade,” a cheater’s duet in the best George ‘n’ Tammy tradition.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There’s a windswept Great Plains feel to Turnpike Troubadours’ songs, heard in the moody content of their lyrics and the finely honed quality of their musicianship. With their third album, Goodbye Normal Street, the Oklahoma combo edge further toward mainstream country while retaining their Dustbowl-bred authenticity. Lead singer/songwriter Evan Felker excels at portraits of troubled lovers, ragged vagabonds, and hard-pressed common folk, all rendered with a mix of grit and delicacy worthy of Townes Van Zandt and Gram Parsons. The band taps into Appalachian balladry on “Gin, Smoke, Lies,” takes a whack at folk-rock on “Morgan Street,” and spices up some hard country with Cajun seasoning on “Quit While I’m Ahead.” “Southwestern Son” and “Blue Star” stand out for their subtle, telling sketches of American fighting men. Rousing tunes like “Before the Devil Knows We’re Dead” are balanced by mournful numbers like “Gone Gone Gone” and “Empty Like a Drum.” Jamie Wilson lends her honeyed vocals to “Call a Spade a Spade,” a cheater’s duet in the best George ‘n’ Tammy tradition.

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3:54
3:33
3:23
4:36
3:43
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5:01
3:29
4:59
4:01

About Turnpike Troubadours

A gritty, country-leaning roots rock band out of eastern Oklahoma, Turnpike Troubadours at their best synthesize the populist, political folk of Woody Guthrie and the outlaw-styled honky tonk of Waylon Jennings with doses of bluegrass, Cajun, and straight-out rock dynamics. Fronted by singer and guitarist Evan Felker and including bassist R.C. Edwards, fiddler Kyle Nix, guitarist Ryan Engleman, and drummer Gabe Pearson, the group celebrates and explores modern rural life with a full awareness of history, delicately avoiding being ornate revivalists. A debut album, the self-released Bossier City, appeared in 2007. The follow-up, Diamonds & Gasoline, was produced by veteran songwriter Mike McClure and released in 2010. Goodbye Normal Street, their 2012 album, became their first to appear on Billboard's country chart, peaking at 14. Three years later, they released their fourth album The Turnpike Troubadours and watched it debut at number three on the Billboard country chart, a sign that the band's fanbase was expanding. ~ Steve Leggett

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