Alt-country greats Turnpike Troubadours have finally announced their first new album in six years, A Cat In The Rain, due August 25 via Bossier City Records/Thirty Tigers (pre-order). The album was produced by Shooter Jennings, and the first single is "Mean Old Sun," which the band recently debuted at Stagecoach. The studio version is even better; it's a dark, somber dose of Americana with a triumphant chorus and it really sounds like a big comeback. Listen and watch the Sterlin Harjo-directed video below.
Turnpike have also announced several new tour dates, including stops in NYC, LA, DC, a two-night stand at the Ryman in Nashville, a three-night stand at Billy Bob's Fort Wort, TX leading up to New Year's Eve, and much more. Their dates include shows with Lucero, Old 97's, Morgan Wade, Kaitlin Butts, The Avett Brothers, Muscadine Bloodline, Pony Bradshaw, Reckless Kelly, The Wood Brothers, and more.
The NYC show happens July 26 at Beacon Theater with Hayes Carll. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 12 at 10 AM with presales beforehand. All dates are listed below.
A new Rolling Stone feature shed's light on the band's breakup and return:
The story as it has been told — that Turnpike took a break so that Felker could get sober before getting back on the road — was never true. Felker walked away from the band before a scheduled show in Houston in May 2019 never intending to play another note, period. At the time, sobriety was not in the cards.
This was not a comeback from alcoholism. This was a comeback from being so jaded to every aspect of music that Felker never wanted to be around it again.
The actual circumstances — painful as they may have been for the band — were quite tame in the sprawling universe of musical controversies. To rehash them for context: By early 2018, Turnpike was no longer a rising star in Americana. Rather, they were elbowing for a place in the genre’s pantheon alongside artists like Jason Isbell and Brandi Carlile.
What had been a bar band for a decade found itself opening mainstream country tours, like that year’s Bandwagon Tour with Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town. A sudden relationship between Felker and Lambert — he and Staci were married at the time — led to Turnpike leaving the tour, the Felkers’ divorce, and an absurd social media firestorm, with fans choosing sides between Lambert and Staci. In its wake, Felker needed an escape. Instead, he found more fans than ever lining up for Turnpike shows, the last thing such an introvert would want at the time. That is when the cancellations happened — Chicago (twice), Shreveport, the Mile 0 Festival in Key West, and the last one in Houston — between September 2018 and May 2019. A concert date would arrive, and Felker would either not make the trip at all or disappear before show time. The band’s internal relationships deteriorated. The bus itself became a toxic place.
Felker then ended up getting sober, reconciling with and remarrying Staci, and was in a place where he knew he was ready to record an album and tour again. So "he texted the band, letting them know he was personally ready but that they needed boundaries. No drinks onstage. Band, crew, and family only backstage. A limited touring schedule." There's a lot more to this story, and you can read the whole thing at Rolling Stone.