Drive On Down And See The Turnpike Troubadours
A friend suggested I should see The Turnpike Troubadours at The Wilbur Theatre last week because they do not travel much outside Oklahoma and Texas – or did not until this tour. I did not know the band prior to the show, but we have some similar taste in music so I took her advice and got a ticket.
All this was before I knew that The Black Lillies, one of my favorite up-and-coming bands, were supporting them on at least part of the tour!
Both bands are touring on the heels of new releases; The Troubadours’ ‘The Turnpike Troubadours’ and The Lillies’ ‘Hard to Please’. Both albums are wonderful – go buy them! Better yet, go see a show!
The Troubadours are an Americana/roots music/acoustic/folk-rock/country band (according to their Facebook page) from Oklahoma. This description may cause one to think that their music is not focused in a style, but one would be wrong. I have been listening to their three albums since the show and I find their style quite recognizable and cohesive. I think roots music is probably the most accurate genre.
Singer and guitarist Evan Felker, bassist RC Edwards, fiddle player Kyle Nix, electric guitarist Ryan Engleman, and drummer Gabe Pearson comprise The Troubadours; they had a pedal steel and dobro player (whose name I do not know) with them for this show who was terrific.
I stood in front of the stage for the first three songs, and was surrounded by a number of Texans who were seeing the band in the north for the first time. They felt the crowd was subdued in comparison to the audiences in Texas, which does not surprise me. New Englanders can be reserved… When I took a seat in the mezzanine, however, it appeared that the crowd was quite animated, fist pumping, dancing, hooting, and hollering throughout the remainder of the set.
The sound was not fabulous for the vocals, which is a shame because the lyrics of many of the songs are excellent: “You can have a nickel outta my last dime” from ‘Down Here’, “And I think I stole a melody/To stop you now from leaving me/A little song to make you see” from ‘A Little Song’, and “Catch me when I’m falling down/Catch me when I’m falling apart/Try to pick myself back up/But don’t know where to start’ from ‘Leaving & Lonely’. Everyone on the floor knew the lyrics though and sang along with Felker.
I am always a sucker for pedal steel, but it was Nix who stole the show for me instrumentally speaking. I enjoyed his animated playing style.
The Black Lillies music has a similar feel to that of The Troubadours, so pairing the two bands on a tour was logical. This was the largest venue in which I have seen The Lillies, and they had no trouble adapting to the size.
I loved that they did an hour-long opening set! This made it feel almost like a c0-bill.
The members of The Black Lillies are Cruz Contreras on guitar, keys, and vocals; Trisha Gene Brady on guitar, hand percussion, and vocals; Bowman Townsend on drums and vocals; Jonathan Keeney on pedal steel; Mike Seal on guitar; and Sam Quinn on bass.
This was far from a sold out show, which was a shame because these musicians are quite talented. Apparently down south they sell out 5,000 capacity venues; maybe next time they venture up north, they will at least sell out this 1,100 capacity venue!
Thanks to the Turnpike Troubadours for the ticket; all opinions are my own.
Posted on November 11, 2015, in concert photos, concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged Americana music, boston, Bowman Townsend, concert photos, concert review, Cruz Contreras, Evan Felker, Gabe Pearson, Kyle NIx, music, RC Edwards, Ryan Engleman, The Black Lillies, The Turnpike Troubadours, Trisha Gene Brady, Wilbur Theatre. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.