Turnpike Troubadours Open Up About Return from Indefinite Hiatus

by Liz Holland
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Independent country group Turnpike Troubadours have announced exciting plans and a return from their declared “indefinite hiatus” that began in 2019. The Oklahoma-based group will make their return to stage at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO on May 14th, 2022. While the group chose hiatus amidst personal struggles of the group’s frontman, Evan Felker, the chemistry when the group hung out again was undeniable.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, fiddle player Kyle Nix says, “It all really did just fall into place again. We didn’t miss a beat. It’s funny how that works.” Plans for the Turnpike Troubadours’ return stretch far beyond just one Red Rocks show. The group has more shows on the way, and album news is expected. In the meantime, tickets for the Red Rocks’ return go on sale on December 3rd. 

Turnpike Troubadours’ New Approach to Touring

While the group examines returning to touring, the Americana stars open up to Rolling Stone about taking a different approach. It can be hard being away from home for long periods of time especially when there has been a past struggle with sobriety.

With that in mind, the group plans to work in plenty of time at home to balance their life on the road. “We have to keep things well-rounded,” Felker tells Rolling Stone. “Life has to have some sort of balance, otherwise it’ll spin off into outer space. We were in the bars — for 10 years, I was in a bar every night. If you expose yourself to that long enough, you’re going to wind up needing some help. I know I did. I don’t miss it. I don’t miss that. I miss playing music, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t miss being drunk and telling the same stories over and over again, not at all.”

Evan Felker Talks Finding New Roots

The reunion is an exciting one but certainly did not come without careful consideration of why the group went on hiatus in the first place. It’s important to note that Felker, whose sobriety issues were a major contributing factor to the hiatus, says he’s a changed man. Since the hiatus, Felker got sober, re-married his wife, and became the father of a beautiful baby girl.

While other members of the band pursued other projects, many of which included touring with other bands during the Troubadours’ time apart, Felker did the opposite and stayed put. Felker opens up to Rolling Stone about his growth and progress. “I found sobriety and recovery, and that was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I’m coming up on two years, completely sober and out of recovery. And a few days after that will be my daughter’s first birthday, so it’s all a big one. I’ve learned so much about how my life was not well-rounded. I mean I knew that. I knew that it was just one thing. It started out just being music, and then eventually it was just drinking, and that was it for me.”

Re-Shaping a Healthy Life

The Troubadour star truly had to take time away from the spotlight to ever consider being back in it. Evan Felker focused on re-connecting with himself and figuring out who he wanted to be moving forward.

Felker shares details on finding a more well-rounded lifestyle, telling Rolling Stone, “There were a lot of things, when I was stuck in a room in a rehab facility, that I thought I really am going to put some time into. I wanted to be a decent carpenter, or just pie-in-the-sky things like training cattle horses and stuff. Now, I’m really able to do all that!”

Felker continues, saying, “I’ve learned more than ever, this cowboying stuff has changed my life drastically. I’m really, really happy with the things I get to spend my time on now,” he clarifies. “I love music still, but it was time to spend a year or two and catch back up, because the person I presented myself to be — and who I thought I was — was lacking in some areas. Now, I feel like myself, and I’m proud of what I’m capable of doing. It’s a nice feeling, it truly is.”

Some Things Never Change for the Turnpike Troubadours

Although Felker spent time re-shaping his life, the musician is certain that fans are going to love the reunited Turnpike Troubadours just as much as before. Felker explains the chemistry the band has with their fans, saying, “We’re the same guys. We’re not even that much older. In fact, in some ways we might be younger. We’ve also always had pretty neat chemistry with the crowd for the vast majority of our shows. And I do miss that, because that’s not something you can really replicate in life. There’s nothing else that gives you that.”
You can keep an eye out for upcoming news on the band’s return on their official website.

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