Turnpike Troubadours Find Regular Success in St. Louis

By Amand, Amanda St | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), January 27, 2017 | Go to article overview

Turnpike Troubadours Find Regular Success in St. Louis


Amand, Amanda St, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


For an Oklahoma-based band that gets almost no radio play, the Turnpike Troubadours have no trouble filling venues.

They've toured in Europe, crisscrossed the country, and are regulars in Texas and Oklahoma on the so-called red dirt circuit. And when they come to St. Louis as they do Saturday with a sold- out show at the Pageant they fill venues here, too.

"St. Louis has been a pretty receptive audience for some years," says R.C. Edwards, who plays bass and often co-writes with lead singer Evan Felker.

And no, it wasn't a story of overnight success. The country band's first forays in St. Louis were at Off Broadway; they've moved on to larger venues.

Edwards, Felker and the other band members Kyle Nix, Ryan Engleman and Gabe Pearson are amused by the idea of instant fame.

"We were taking a cab ride this weekend into Fort Worth, me and Ryan, and the cab driver didn't know much," Edwards says. "He asked if we were an up-and-coming band. For 10 years now, we're still coming up."

Those 10 years include four albums, the most recent of which was last year's widely acclaimed "Turnpike Troubadours." The album made nearly every "best of" list in rootsy country music. And just as the previous three albums did, it raised the bar for the band.

Every time the band makes a record, Edwards says, "we think it's the best one ever."

And the Troubadours don't want that to change. In the past year or two, the band has gotten more exposure than ever before thanks to avenues such as Cardinals baseball (Matt Carpenter often uses "Long Hot Summer Day" as his walkup music) and the Netflix series "The Ranch," which has featured some of the Troubadours' songs.

Felker's distinctive voice takes most of the lead, but Edwards steps up for a few songs during the show. Crowd favorites include "Whiskey in My Whiskey" and "Drunk, High and Loud. …

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