Turnpike Troubadours come Full Circle with newest CD

| November 13, 2017 | Reply

Turnpike Troubadours at
WoodyFest 2017

Story by Axton Deary, Photos by Mary Jane Farmer. First appeared in the November issue of Buddy Magazine.

Turnpike Troubadours released their 5th album, A Long Way From Your Heart, on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. Lead singer of Turnpike Troubadours, Evan Felker, is easily one of our generation’s greatest songwriters and makes it seem like a Sunday breeze with relative ease. The songs, like many Turnpike albums, is based in or around Southeastern Oklahoma. The album intertwines previous albums and characters together — creating this sensation that listeners are living in Felker’s own world he created, which spans from the Ouachitia Mountains across McCurtain County, Oklahoma to Bryan County, Oklahoma. A Long Way From Your Heart features many influences ranging from The Old 97’s (“Pipe Bomb Dream”), Alabama (“Something To Hold On To”), and paying homage to Woody Guthrie with a striped down love or lust song (“Oklahoma Stars”). Felker hones his ability to pen instances in life that we can all relate to.

The easy-on-the-ears album begins with “The House Fire.” “The House Fire” sets the tone of the general state of mind where Felker is currently at — maturity. The opening track opens to a familiar character of the past —Lorrie. Lorrie appears initially in “Good Lord Lorrie” and then “The Mercury.” In the song, Lorrie has matured as she has birthed a child and simultaneously escaped tragedy. There are a few other references in the songs which tiee the narrator of “The House Fire” to other Turnpike songs, coming full circle.

Jump ahead to track number 7. “The Hard Way” reverts to introspect of an old way for Felker. He visits his hometown, and “Well, [he] just hit town. You know the old routine; try to tear it down…” but he realizes whenever he visits town,

Evan Felkner, Turnpike Troubadours at
Grand Theater, Durant 2017

he drinks an alarmingly rife amount of alcohol and wears his welcome out and then secludes himself in a cabin outside of town and concludes that maybe it was best he never stayed to become the hometown hero, as it could have ended badly.

Track number 8 — “Old Time Feeling (Like Before)” is the best song on the album, lyrically and production-wise. The song encompasses life on the road, a long-distant past lover, and a babe, give me one more chance knowing that it may never work out, but I’ll be damned if I don’t give it my best. The song goes in depth of the narrator knowing that it’s not going to work out as Felker writes, “play me like a violin, knock all the wind out of my chest. I don’t mind you playing me, just keep it in a major key.” The lengths the character would go to show his love are immeasurable, but in the end, he keeps getting let on.

Jaime Linn Wilson of The Trishas, John Fullbright, Jonny Burke, Kevin Russell of Shinyribs, and Turnpike Troubadour Bassist, R.C. Edwards contributed lyrics to Turnpike’s barn-burner of an album.

Turnpike Troubadours have come a long way since playing the Red Barn Saloon in Durant, Oklahoma. Evan Felker continuously impresses listeners with each album he pens. All the tracks on the album deserve much dissection to truly understand the lyrical genius that is Evan Felker –a poet considered by many. Make no light, Felker could not be as successful without the rest of the group that makes up Turnpike. Kyle Nix, R.C. Edwards, Ryan Engleman and others. In less than 24 hours, Turnpike’s A Long Way From Your Heart reached number 3 on iTunes. Do yourself a favor and download the album and dive in to great production, great riffs, and even greater songwriting. You will be impressed with these Southeastern sons of Oklahoma.

The Turnpike Troubadours, currently on national tour, will be at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth on Dec. 16 and at the Event Center, Choctaw Casino, Grant, Okla., on Dec. 28. They are also scheduled to appear on Austin City Limits in early 2018, and will record the session for that on December 5 at ACL Live at the Moody in Austin. 

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Category: *- Features, - CD Reviews, Choctaw Casinos

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