The Turnpike Troubadours came roaring out of Oklahoma ten years ago with a sound that has been described as a synthesis of Woody Guthrie and Walyon Jennings with the guitars turned way up. Their fourth release is self-titled, and it swings from melancholy ballads, to out-and-out rockers fiddle not withstanding. Turnpike Troubadours play in Raleigh tomorrow night at the Lincoln Theatre.
Evan Felker is the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for The Troubadours.
The band represents the new guard of Red Dirt music. Felker says county rockers Bob Childers, Tom Skinner and Randy Crouch created the genre as central-Oklahoma's answer to Bluegrass.
"If you've ever been to any of that area, the dirt will stain your clothes, it's really red. And it's a landmark of sorts," Felker said.
Felker wrote "The Bird Hunters," which tells the story of a man who went off to the city and then comes back to the country to go out hunting with old friends. He said he loves short stories, and appreciates the chance to "force that literary component" into a song.
"I've always loved storytelling, and I think it's kind of one of the base parts of country music, and of folk music, for sure," said Felker, adding that John Stenbeck, Ernest Hemingway and Flannery O'Connor are favorite authors.
You can hear songs from The Turnpike Troubadours' latest self-titled recording on WUNC Music and on our HD2 channel.