One of my favorite new bands to emerge last year was Oklahoma-based Turnpike Troubadours. I was first drawn in by their first radio single, "Every Girl," but have since come to appreciate a good deal of the band's catalog. The good news is you can give their latest album, Diamonds and Gasoline, a listen free of charge, as the entire record is currently streaming in full on the audio section of their Web site.
Picking right up where "Every Girl" left off, the band's new single "7 & 7" is all over the airwaves right now, and I also recommend "1968" and "Whole Damn Town" for new listeners. Perhaps most importantly, Turnpike Troubadours seem to keep their focus on the songwriting, such that the song itself stands as the central element in their music, with just the right instrumentation backing the tracks. The band has clearly benefited from the Texas and Oklahoma music scenes opening up more diverse sounds, as they are by no means your run-of-the-mill bar band. Rather, I expect to see a lot of great things to come from them as they continue to pick up steam.
While I missed the band the last time they were in town, they'll be returning to the Permian Basin for a show at the Rockin' Rodeo in Midland on Thursday, Feb. 24th. The information I have about the show is limited, partly on account of the fact that the Rockin' Rodeo isn't well known for keeping their Web site or their Facebook or their Myspace consistently up to date.
The band was kind enough to take a few minutes to do an email interview with Windfarm. Check it out under the video below:
Windfarm: Can you describe the Turnpike Troubadours sound for readers?
Turnpike Troubadours: I think of it as singer/songwriter music that spent too much time in the Honky-Tonks.
WF: Artistically, who would you cite as major influences?
TT: There are hundreds of people, Robert Earl Keen, Townes Van Zandt, Jerry Jeff Walker, The Band, Old 97's, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, The Great Divide, and Mike McClure just to name a few.
WF: What can a listener expect from a Turnpike Troubadours live show?
TT: We always have a good time on stage, there are nights when the crowd is dancing on the bar and being rowdy. We are pretty accustomed to the road house kind of environment and love it when people have a good time.
WF: As a band that spends a good deal of its time on the road, what are your favorite venues to play?
TT: Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, Iron Horse in Wichita Falls, Wormy Dog, Mercury Lounge in Tulsa, Gruene Hall, Roxie's Roost in Tahlequah, Cheatham Street, the ones that have a story or two behind them are always the best.
WF: Where do Turnpike Troubadours fit in regard to the Red Dirt music scene?
TT: If you are our age and from Oklahoma you can't help but be influenced by the Stillwater guys. Its nice to be included. We are trying to do our own thing now and just hoping its on par.
WF: Your song "1968" references an important time in our country's history. Would you be willing to talk about the significance of that song?
TT: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy both were assassinated that year. The song is about the idea of someone else coming along in present-day with their regard for the common man, hopefully it happens.
WF: What can we expect from Turnpike Troubadours in 2011?
TT: We are booked up solid throughout this year and I plan to do another album by this summer. We have new songs and are ready for it.
WF: What albums (recent or older) have been on your playlist the past few months?
TT: Steve Earle's Transcendental Blues has been stuck in my player for 5 months. My stereo literally won't eject it.
Also, check out:
John Fullbright- Live at the Blue Door
Jason Eady- When the Money's all Gone
Rodney Parker- The Lonesome Dirge/ The Apology
The Felice Brothers- The Felice Brothers
Corb Lund- Losing Lately Gambler
Mike Mcclure- Halfway Out