The Turnpike Troubadours are an Oklahoma based group of talented musicians with a unique ability to perfectly blend the soul of traditional country music with a rambunctious sound of today’s modern Texas music scene. “Goodbye Normal Street” is the 3rd studio album and I believe to be their finest work to date.
Released in 2012, “Goodbye Normal Street” is a wonderful collection of songs that immediately make you sit up and take notice of this band, who appear to be on their way to a very bright future. The simple backbeat drum intro followed immediately by the banjo and fiddle lead you into the opening song, “Gin Smoke Lies” and quickly allows the listener to realize this band is more than simply trying to make a living playing music, but are a band who take the music they make very serious.
The vocals of Evan Felker equal that of a smooth blend of an oak barrel whiskey perfectly aged in truth and experience which accentuates the band completely.
Track 2, “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead”, is one of my personal favorites on this album. Kyle Nix’s fiddle sets the tone of this song and takes you on a ride-a-long that, by the end, you’ll be thankful you survived.
Track 3, “Southeastern Son” tells the tale of a young man in a small southeastern town with no work who signs up for the National Guard. Felker’s vocals really shine on this track. The band really puts off a wonderful traditional country vibe early on, only to take off running with it straight into Afghanistan.
Track 4, “Blue Star” begins with a nice mix of fiddle and harmonica, a wonderful song about a soldier who’s returned home from war.
Track 5, “Call A Spade A Spade”, a duet with Jamie Wilson of The Trisha’s, is a great sounding traditional country song. Both Evan and Jamie provide excellent unique voices that sound amazing when blending together in perfect harmony. Track 6, “Morgan Street” is a mellow song with the accordion adding a definite Cajun flavor to this song about partying the night away on Morgan Street.
Track 7 “Gone, Gone, Gone” – A waltz beat never sounded so good, a beautiful mix of steel guitar and fiddle along with Evan’s vocals really set this song off, another personal favorite. Track 8 “Good Lord Lorrie” is a wonderfully written love song about a man who loves a woman but it never seems to quite work out for him.
Track 9, “Empty as a Drum”, is a stripped down acoustic guitar song, beautifully played and soulfully sung, about a guy sitting in a bar waiting on the woman he loves to show. Track 10, “Wrecked”, is rich in the sound of traditional country music about young love and the effects of someone’s first broken heart. Track 11, “Quit While I’m Ahead”, wraps up the album with a toe tapping country gem that will leave you wanting to press play and listen to the entire album all over again.
If you are one of us who enjoy a perfect blend of country music instruments along with soulful vocals and the kind of songwriting which completely engulfs you into the story, you will not be disappointed with anything the Turnpike Troubadours decide to play.