Favorite sons

The Turnpike Troubadours play two dates at the BOK Center in Tulsa.

The Turnpike Troubadours are rolling down the highway to play two Tulsa dates.

Bassist, vocalist and cofounder of the band R.C. Edwards has come a long way but still remembers his roots.

“I was just telling a buddy recently that The Red Barn in Durant is definitely one of the first places we got started playing live shows,” he said. “It’s a little college town and we kind of made it our home for a while. Then also with Tahlequah, Tulsa and Stillwater, that made up what were our first four home bases when we were really just getting started playing live shows.” 

The band’s name came in part from the many trips they made back and forth from Oklahoma City to Tulsa on the Turner Turnpike. 

Whether they’re Americana, bluegrass, outlaw country or a red dirt band is up for interpretation, but the band has continually amassed fans and played some of the most-renowned places in the region, including Austin City Limits several times.

“With OETA, that was some of the coolest music you could watch on TV on a regular basis. Back in the day, when DVDs were still around, we had a big stack of the Austin City Limits DVDs that we bought on sale at Walmart. Those were great, and they featured some of our favorite bands. We watched all of them over and over again. So it was a pretty big deal for us to get to play there,” Edwards said. 

The band is now in high demand these days in not only America but overseas as well. The group took a touring hiatus from May 2019 to November 2021 to allow singer Evan Felker to deal with some of his own personal and private issues. Felker and Edwards are the only two remaining original members and have been playing together for 17 years, while Kyle Nix, Ryan Engleman, Gabriel Pearson and Hank Early round out the band these days.

When the Turnpike Troubadours announced they were going to be taking stages once again,  every bot, scalper and reseller on the web took note, leaving many of their most loyal fans simply outbid on securing any tickets at all. Tickets are still hot commodities with the band, recently selling more than 74,000 tickets at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

”These upcoming shows at BOK are the same exact thing. We sold out the one night pretty quickly, so they added another one,” Edwards said.

Old Crow Medicine Show and Muscadine Bloodline will open for Turnpike Troubadours March 30 and April 1 at the BOK Center in Tulsa.

Visit turnpiketroubadours.com

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