The Turnpike Troubadours made the most of a brief North Carolina visit last week…
The relatively short time span from an announced show in Asheville to performance didn’t leave much room for promotion. Fortunately, the Turnpike Troubadours are one of the biggest and best bands currently in the red dirt scene, word traveled fast and a sold out crowd greeted them at Salvage Station in Asheville last Thursday night.
A small venue with a capacity of around 1,000 for their indoor performances, the unique facility provided both an indoor and outdoor stage. Better weather would have made for an entertaining performance on the outdoor stage with crowds along the French Broad River banks but with periods of rain, the cozy confines of an indoor facility were perfect.
Rising star Jaime Wyatt, who sings alongside Shooter Jennings on his new album in ‘Fast Horses and Good Hideouts’ got things going with her honky tonk style songs off her latest record Felony Blues.
Following, Evan Felker and his band took to the stage with ‘The Housefire’ and for nearly two hours rarely showed signs of slowing down. An upbeat set list with only brief interludes to share a story about former member and friend John Fullbright, in addition to band introductions were the only breaks in the action until time for an encore.
From his initial countdown to get things started, Felker looked like a revived and refreshed band leader. Our seventh Turnpike Troubadours show in the past seven years and it was the most fun we’ve seen him have on stage. High on life? Sober? You’d have to ask him but the performance was on point all night long.
High energy, solid performances all the way around and even nearly 1,000 miles from home playing to a packed house with the majority singing along. Felker did mention their latest album, A Long Way From Your Heart, was partially recorded in the North Carolina mountains of Asheville presumably at the historic Echo Mountain Studios.
Potentially their best album to date, which is saying something considering the band hasn’t put out a bad song in nearly a decade, many of the favorites were featured throughout the set with a sprinkling of older songs mixed in between.
Felker turned over the stage to bass player R.C. Edwards to take a short break and his song ‘Drunk, High and Loud’ went over extremely well before the full band was back together for ‘I’ve Just Seen A Face’ (Beatles) and ‘Long Hot Summer Day’ (John Hartford).
The encore was a perfect two song finale showcasing the talents of everyone in the band and how well their combined efforts come across on stage. Like a well oiled machine, the Turnpike Troubadours executed a flawless performance on a tight stage putting together one of the best live shows we have witnessed this year.
FULL SETLIST 05/17/2018
7 & 7
The Bird Hunters
Whole Damn Town
Kansas City Southern
Good Lord Lorrie
The Winding Stair Mountain Blues
Pay No Rent
Pipe Bomb Dream
Before the Devil Knows We’re Dead
I’ve Just Seen a Face (The Beatles)
Drunk, High and Loud (R.C. Edwards)
Long Hot Summer Day (John Hartford)
A Tornado Warning
Something To Hold On To