The Turnpike Troubadours closed down Choctaw Casino’s long-and-well-used Event Center in style Friday night (May 8, 2015), the last band to be playing in this 5,000-seat arena. It’s seen hundreds of national superstars and regional favorites over the many years in use.
Turnpike Troubadours, one of those regional favorites nearing national superstar status, set up a stage full of monitors and sound equipment, yet managed to pull off their solid acoustic-feel music style along with equally solid harmonies. The band, including Kyle Nix on fiddle and who wore a Waylon Jennings T-shirt, managed to show their allegiance to the Jennings gent, but capped it off even more with their signature Red Dirt style, created in their native Oklahoma by Bob Childers and carried forward by such bands as this one, Brandon Jenkins, the Red Dirt Ramblers, Stoney LaRue, and others. But, with all that Red Dirt sound, their folk music influence is just as noticeable.
Others in the band are Evan Felker with his distinguished vocal sounds, plus acoustic guitar, harmonica, and banjo; R.C. Edwards on bass; Ryan Engleman on lead guitar and steel guitar; and Gabe Pearson on drums. All of them provide harmony vocals behind Felker’s leads.
The band treated the crowd, almost full in spite of tornado warnings all over Texas and Oklahoma, to a good mix of the songs from their past three CDs, Bossier City, Diamonds & Gasoline, and Goodbye Normal Street, along with several new songs they said will be out on their next record project, now in the works!
The Turnpike Troubadours’ tour schedule is online at TurnpikeTroubadours.com, and shows them to be back in Texoma/North Texas on July 4 at Billy Bob’s Texas. Between now and then, they will be in Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, and several other places in Texas. Not bad for a band of country musicians who paid its dues in as many backroad bars and small festivals as their time and vehicles would take them.
Meanwhile, keep checking SceneInTown.com’s Live Music Calendar for other major events up at Choctaw Casino in Durant, and in Grant, as well, including Luke Bryan and Dustin Lynch on July 9 in its new Grand Theater. It’s actually Aerosmith who will inaugurate that new event center, on June 27, but if you don’t have your tickets already, well — that show sold out about 45 minutes after the tickets went on sale.