Photography: Turnpike Troubadours, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, and Red Shahan

Turnpike Troubadours at The Blue Light. Photograph by Susan Marinello/New Slang.

Turnpike Troubadours at The Blue Light. Photograph by Susan Marinello/New Slang.

by: Thomas D. Mooney

Seems like every time Turnpike Troubadours come to town, they bring on the rain. A wall of giant thunderclouds seemingly follow them down from Oklahoma and down here to Lubbock every damn time. A couple Fridays back was no different. The rain clouds consistently loomed off in the distance without every banking on their potential downpour threats. 

It’s like sitting in the middle of a funnel cloud. 

The five-piece Americana band wasn’t alone on their seemingly annual shutdown of Buddy Holly Ave. They brought country staples Jason Boland & The Stragglers (and Oklahoma contemporaries) and the up-and-coming Texas songwriter Red Shahan. While lightning touched down in the cotton fields north of town, the three bands tore through The Depot in front of Blue Light record numbers.

Turnpike, Boland, and Shahan are all either right off or a stone’s throw of their next album release date–Turnpike Troubadours with The Turnpike Troubadours out Sept 18, Boland’s Squelch out Oct 09, and Shahan’s Men & Coyotes out this past Sept 04. They blazed through setlists with a balance of both new and old standards.

While Turnpike had a minor setback with the brief loss of guitarist Ryan Engleman (He injured his right wrist), Dallas-Ft. Worth veteran guitarist Hank Early filled in with ease after a week-long crash course on Troubadours songs. Vocalist Evan Felker joked that the band was slowly becoming taken over by Texans with Early joining drummer Gabriel Pearson.

Tonight specifically, the band was spot on. An engaging Felker violently strummed his acoustic guitar as the crowd sang along to the likes of “Every Girl” and Gin, Smoke, Lies.” His Springsteen stomp was as prominent as ever as whiskey bottles passed around stage in-between songs. 

Even new songs such as “Down Here” and “Long Drive Home” felt as though they’d been in the Turnpike song repertoire for the past decade. Had you just stumbled upon the band that night, you’d have been none the wiser. It’s certainly not outlandish to call their latest efforts timeless and enduring.


For more on Turnpike Troubadours, return tomorrow for our in-depth interview with bassist R.C. Edwards and analysis of their new album, The Turnpike Troubadours. 

Turnpike Troubadours Setlist

01. Every Girl
02. 7&7
03. Doreen
04. The Bird Hunters
05. Down Here
06. The Mercury
07. Shreveport
08. Leaving & Lonely
09. Wrecked
10. Washington
11. Gin, Smoke, Lies
12. Long Drive Home
13. Morgan Street
14. Good Lord Lorrie
15. Ringing in the Year
16. Time of Day
17. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
18. Kansas City Southern
19. Whole Damn Town
20. Bossier City
21. Long Hot Summer Day




One response to “Photography: Turnpike Troubadours, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, and Red Shahan

  1. Pingback: Interviews: Turnpike Troubadours | New Slang·

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