Sold Out: Turnpike Troubadours
Fri, January 27, 2017
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pmThe Cotillion Ballroom
$26.50 Advance - $30 Day of Show
This event is all ages
All seating is general admission with table and chairs setup around a large open floor for watching the show and dancing. Table reservations may be made thru the box office in person or by calling 316-722-4201. Nancy's A-Maize-N Sandwiches will be serving her famous #8 and more. Text COUNTRY to 49798 for concert updates and chances to win FREE tickets. The Check Room is open during events to check your coats, hats and purses.https://www.thecotillion.com/event/1377206/
And if you make it through the door, you’ll witness one of the best shows you'll ever see.
Audiences in their home state of Oklahoma and down in Texas have known this for years. It's no longer news when they draw 5,000-plus at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth, sell out three nights in a row at Gruene Hall or turn several hundred away at the Legendary Stubb's Bar-B-Q in Austin.
Word has spread, though: Their shows in Chicago, St. Louis and elsewhere have pulled in more than 1,000 fans. And they’ve drawn full houses at Joe’s Pub in New York and The Troubadour in L.A., among many other nightspots from coast to coast.
They’ve even been picked by Playboy as one of three acts to watch in 2015 – a distinction lead singer/guitarist/songwriter Evan Felker admits is “pretty bizarre” but impressive nonetheless.
So is that the story? “The Turnpike Troubadours Tear It Up Night After Night”?
Actually, no. There’s another side to singer/guitarist Felker, bassist RC Edwards, fiddler Kyle Nix, steel and electric guitarist Ryan Engleman and drummer Gabe Pearson. Maybe you don’t notice it as much at their shows, where their blazing performances tend to obliterate detached reflection.
But you’ll definitely notice it on their new album, The Turnpike Troubadours, to be released September 18th on their Bossier City imprint. Away from the intensities of their show, the music speaks more intimately. Details of their arrangements clarify. Above all, the lyrics become the center of attention, spinning stories so compelling that you realize you’d almost forgotten how powerful the message of a song could be.
There’s “7 Oaks”, recounting a life made desperate by poverty, made more vivid by an incongruous hoedown accompaniment … “Bossier City”, focused on a sad mill worker who blows his pay regularly on gambling and booze … “The Bird Hunters”, a short story set to a Cajun waltz about friendship, love and coming home … “Down Here”, a conversation between one guy who has lost all he had and another who assures him life "down here" really isn’t so bad … “How Do You Fall Out Of Love”, a melancholy meditation on lost love.
Dig deeper into the words and bits of brilliant craftsmanship gleam: “Hillbilly girl, as sweet as wine, grew up in the thicket like a muscadine.” … “Robbie’s got a brand new girlfriend. She’s got to strip for pills.” … “I left my heart in Tulsa on the corner of Easton & Main on the Cains Ballroom floor, soaking up a bourbon stain.” … “You bet your heart on a diamond and I played the clubs and the spades. We gambled and lost. Yes, we both paid the cost. Look what a mess I have made.”
“Human beings like stories,” Felker insists. “It doesn’t matter what form, whether it be a song or a movie or a poem. And they’ve always been drawn to characters. Our songs are real life applied to stories applied back to real life. I might get a plot line from several short stories I’ve read. Then I’ll build fallible characters into the midst of all that. They’re never archetypes. They’re real. It’s all about the character.”
In fact, characters are so central to the Turnpike Troubadours that they often turn up in more than one song. On The Turnpike Troubadours, for instance, the narrator in “Down Here”, Danny, turns up again in “The Bird Hunters”.
“Stephen King has this canon of characters and any of them can walk into one of his stories at any time,” Felker says. “You have all these characters living in the same universe. I haven’t ever seen that applied to songwriting, but that’s what I’m doing.”
This universe feels real on The Turnpike Troubadours because the band resolved to let the album happen on its own time. Moving out to the Prairie Sun recording complex in the desert country of Cotati, California, setting up in former chicken coops converted into studios, they metaphorically unplugged the clock and worked studiously through 12-hour sessions, wrapping up only when each story and every note rang true.
"This album sounds like us at our best," Edwards says. "We weren't going for being overproduced. What we got was exactly what we wanted because we didn't have that time factor problem."
And this is the paradox of the Turnpike Troubadours: Do they sound their best when they're delivering another electrifying live show or when they've crafted an artful album, enriched by a narrative tradition that traces back to their fellow Oklahoman Woody Guthrie, in which every nuance tells a story unto itself?
Honestly, the band doesn't worry much about that.
"The show is about people having fun," Felker says. "The more fun they have, the more fun we have and the better off everybody is. The record is about understanding the poetry in a real way. I figure it's like people sitting around in their house, maybe drinking a beer. That's more the place for poetry." "Our sound comes from playing country music, punk rock and anything else we liked in honky-tonks and beer joints," Edwards adds. "You've got to give the crowd something to dance to and have a good time. But songwriters are the most important thing. So I think everything we've done says that you can have it both ways."
The proof is on The Turnpike Troubadours and at whatever place they're playing down the road near you. Think of them as a two-headed silver dollar; on both sides, you've got a winner.
"I was born in Memphis, and I've lived in several spots," explains Domino. "But I seem to move every five years, and Lubbock is the place I lived the longest, so that is where I'll always call home."
Another key driving factor to Domino's ability to expertly proffer a number of styles that still feel cohesive and thoughtful on 1806 is in the musical upbringing he enjoyed. Whether it was the hymnal singing from his Grandmother, or the 1950's Sun Records his Grandfather would play, Domino soaked it all in – even the heavy metal his own step-?father would often listen too. Indeed, Domino's formative youth was somewhat unusual, and as a result, his musical choices of the past, might seem strange, given the powerfully grizzled way he can deliver a sage line of West Texas wisdom now.
Whether it's gothic western of "Howl," the rocking roadhouse vibe of "Dallas," the sawdust shuffling, rootsy ode to an inspirational women "Jesus and Handbags," or the menacing, swampy, stomping "Killing Floor," the tunes on 1806 fit well, and offer the listener a well-?rounded, satisfying experience. For good measure, "All that Matters" is suited for country radio with its delicate electricity, declarations of a pleading lover, and Domino's ability to simply tell a story we can all relate to, yet can't express in the same way.
Two key moments as Domino traveled the oft-?difficult path from adolescence into his teenage years proved to be the foundation from which he would build his identity as a musician with something personal and unique to say. Even in Junior high, Domino recognized music was the way in which he could best express what his soul wrestled with.
"A big musical moment for me was in 2003, when I went to a punk show in Las Vegas," Domino clearly recalls. "New Found Glory and MXPX were playing, which was perfect because I had grown up skateboarding and hearing the live bands at the Van's Warped Tour. Punk music really was my base, because I loved the freedom of the lyrics. The songs dealt with the stuff that was relevant to me. The older I've become, the more I've enjoyed that same freedom I see in the writing of so many great Texas and Red Dirt artists. The feeling I get from great lyrics is what will has always stuck out to me."
Shortly after Domino's punk-?tinted epiphany, his Grandfather passed away, and at the age of 14, Domino began to explore the depths of personally vulnerable songwriting in order to cope with the loss of the man that had raised him for the first 10 years of his life.
Over the years, Domino has kept the fuel for creating original music from his own viewpoint burning on high. With musical heroes ranging from Lubbock legend Terry Allan, to Bright Eyes, to another young singer-?songwriter with West Texas ties, Charlie Shafter, its clear Domino wants his music to hit the listener in both the gut and the mind, just as his favorite artists' best tunes always manage to.
"Every song I have was about a specific moment or a period of time," Domino explains. "I can't just make up a song. I have to live in it, or I have to relive the emotions I felt in my life at the moment the song requires."
Dominos tragic and triumphant travels through musical and geographical terrain have led to this moment where he's a man with serious things to say, as music is the one true way he can fully express it all to us.