Welcome back, Turnpike Troubadours: some two years after the band decided to re-join forces and go back on stage, they publish a new set of ten songs. The album A Cat In The Rain has been released on 25th August 2023. Here is my review.
Turnpike Troubadours – About The Artists
The Turnpike Troubadours is a US-American country music band, which has been founded in Tahlequah, Oklahoma in 2007. From 2019 to 2012, the band has been on a hiatus. In the band history, the Turnpike Troubadours had 1.5 billion streams and sold 1.3 million units roughly. After their first two albums did not make it to the charts. the 2012 Goodbye Normal Street has been the band’s breakthrough. A Cat In The Rain is the first album after the hiatus. The last album before it, A Long Way From Your Heart (2017), topped the US Folk and US Indie charts and peaked 20th in the overall charts. The current lineup is Evan Felker (vocals, guitar), Kyle Nix (fiddle), Ryan Engleman (guitar), RC Edwards (bass), Hank Early (steel, accordion) and Gabe Pearson (drums).
Turnpike Troubadours – A Cat In The Rain – Track by Track
The ten song album lasts 40 minutes.
1. Mean Old Sun
The opening song is using the F-F-B concept: Fiddle, Felker, banjo. These are the three key elements of Mean Old Son, maybe apart from heavily stomping rhythm. A rather dark start into A Cat In The Rain, which is truly a reference to the band’s more rock-alike releases.
2. Brought Me
The album opens with two single releases. The melody of Brought Me feels much more like an airplay-demanding one. The rhythm, however, is rather on slower side, just like as this has been the case at the predecessor. The dark feel fades, though – the second track feels more friendly and by that also easier to digest.
Lucille feels like a slow ride in the countryside at sunset time. Unfortunately, the horse is not too young anymore and a bit of lame. You simply feel that this song has quite some potential, but it just does not reach it. Especially the hook is a good one.
4. Chipping Mill
Ran my heart through a chipping millSold my soul for rock ‘n’ roll Gave away all that I could steal But I always kept the best for you I always kept the best for you
Undeniably, this song is closer to the Nashville mainstream sound. But: it works. The melody is good, the balancing of guitars, steel and fiddle works well – and even Evan Felker’s voice feels warmer, more inviting. In the fourth attempt, the Turnpike Troubadours finally make me smile more brightly.
5. The Rut
The more I listened to The Rut, the more I enjoyed it. The band is producing a cool, laid back sound (great work by Hank Early on the steel side, by the way), Felker unexcitedly tells the story of the song on top of that. The horse back riding is not a race again, but this time, the good, old animals feels much more healthy.
6. A Cat In The Rain
The title track opens the second half of the album. After the previous two songs, I am really into the sound of the Turnpike Troubadours now and enjoy listening to their somehow cheesy sound. It is a rather traditional style, it reminds me of some Midland songs.
7. Black Sky
If this song feels familiar to you, you might be right. Black Sky has originally been recorded by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. The very heavy, slow sound and the strong harmonica and steel presence leads to a nice variety of sound in this ten song set.
8. East Side Love Song (Bottoms Up)
After this rather hard-to-digest sound, East Side Love Song (Bottoms Up) has a really light touch and eases the mind of the listener. The song is taking over the feel-good-duty in the album and is doing a nice job by that.
9. Three More Days
Just Three More Days on the road before making it home – this song is full of desire and emotion. The steel guitar is howling, almost whiny. Overall, the sound of this one nicely fits to its story. The Troubadours make you listen to it. Nice one.
10. Won’t You Give Me One More Chance
The harmonica opens for Won’t You Give Me One More Chance, which is the second longest track of the album. The song orientates by the recording by Jeff Walker. The song is a nice fit to the sound of the album and a pleasant farewell to A Cat In The Rain – even though it does not lead to overwhelming feelings.
Turnpike Troubadours – A Cat In The Rain – Spotify
You can listen to the album on Spotify:
Turnpike Troubadours – A Cat In The Rain – My View
A Cat In The Rain is a nice album, a good listen. I like the leverage between the instruments and Evan Felker’s voice. There is also a clear concept and common sound in it. Nonetheless, it just did not catch me enough to really fascinate me. It works on a solid basis.
Pictured Stories (Germany)