Turnpike Troubadours kick off Long Hot Summer in Houston
Mike Sudhalter | June 16, 2012
Evan Felker of the Turnpike Troubadours continues to rock the Red Dirt/Texas Music Scene
The Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Team is competing in the NBA Finals, showcasing the state of Oklahoma on the professional sports scene for the first time ever.
So, now everyone knows about Thunder, Sooners and Cowboys.
Those aren't the only things that Oklahoma has to be proud of. Now, there's the Turnpike Troubadours, a five-piece band that's putting roots back into country music. They have a fiddle in the (Kyle Nix), steel guitar and lead singer Evan Felker alternates between a Harmonica and a Banjo.
Houston's Firehouse Saloon is a hotbed of Red Dirt/Texas Music, but what an amazing sight/feeling it was when nearly everyone in the jam-packed bar was stomping their boots and/or shoes to "Long Hot Summer Days."
Felker has great stage presence, a good sense of humor and the support of his Red Dirt counterparts. Randy Rogers sported a Turnpike Troubadours baseball cap during his set on the Riverfront Stage at the CMA Festival in Nashville, Tenn.
Most of the TPT's songs have a distinct setting in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas or Illinois. That's what true country music is about - transporting you to a different time and place.
The late, great Jimmy Rodgers would be so proud, because few country artists since the Singing Brakeman have performed railroad songs, and TPT proudly sings "Kansas City Southern."
Call it Roots, Americana, Country or Red Dirt but these guys have the ability to unite cowboys and hipsters - a feat in and of itself.
These guys are on the rise. I wouldn't be surprised if they are the Southwest's equivalent of the Zac Brown Band. But one thing's pretty certain: they wouldn't change for the Nashville Establishment. Instead, they'll turn it upside down.