Turnpike. Is. BACK.
For the first time in 2,023 days, since the release of their critically acclaimed record A Long Way from Your Heart, the greatest band of all time has dropped new music. And for once, all seems right in the world.
One of the most highly anticipated song releases in the history of country music, the Turnpike Troubadours’ latest single “Mean Old Sun” is officially out on streaming platforms everywhere. And if you haven’t heard it yet, then you’re already behind the ball on this one.
If there were ever any doubts about whether these fellas still had it, “Mean Old Sun” does more than just put them to rest.
Originally debuted this past weekend in front of a massive audience at Stagecoach, the Turnpike Troubadours’ latest tune has already received an outstanding response from fans, and proves that the Eastern Oklahoma outfit never missed a beat despite everything that’s transpired over the last several years.
Right off the bat, frontman Evan Felker comes out swingin’ in “Mean Old Sun” with a poignant verse that draws on the band’s past yet embodies an optimistic outlook on their future. With symbolic lyricism and vivid imagery, Felker does what he does best, and paints an image of a time and place, inviting us all to join him in our imagination.
And as great storytellers do, he ropes the listener in deeper and deeper with every line. There’s truly no one who does it quite like Evan Felker can.
“Empty promises I’ve given
Hollow heart beats in my chest
And every word a sterling silver
Stirs butterflies beneath your breast
Head along for the wall now honey
Still coming up like a rose
Dead still in the garden
Waiting for the reveille
And the dawn is yet to dry the dew
From all my Sunday clothes
That mean old sun better rise up soon
If it’s ever gonna set on me”
Now not to get too sentimental on y’all, but I know I’m not alone when I admit that there was a time where I had grown concerned we may never get to hear a new Turnpike song again. So to be here, listening to a new one seems quite surreal. And in the best way possible.
A spectacular comeback record that will undoubtedly become immortalized in country music lore and the ever intensifying mystique of the Turnpike Troubadours, “Mean Old Sun” is just what the doctor ordered. And it provides more than enough reason to be excited for what is to come.
Thanks to a Rolling Stone article from Red Dirt journalist Josh Crutchmer earlier this week, we finally have more tangible evidence as to what it is exactly that we have to look forward to. So while “Mean Old Sun” is our first true look into the artistry Turnpike has been cultivating behind the scenes, we actually know what is next for once.
The Turnpike Troubadours next studio album is set to be released on August 25, 2023, nearly six years after the release of A Long Way from Your Heart. Produced by the legendary Shooter Jennings at Muscle Shoals’ iconic FAME Studios, and finalized in Los Angeles, Cat in the Rain will contain ten new songs and provide plenty of long awaited new material.
Aside from two covers on the record – tunes originally recorded by The Ozark Mountain Daredevils and Felker’s songwriting hero Jerry Jeff Walker – Cat in the Rain will take us on a new journey that provides insight into the Turnpike Troubadours’ past, present, and future, introduces new characters to Felker’s unique songwriting world, and features writing help from other industry greats such as John Fullbright, Lance Roark, and founding band member RC Edwards.
No matter how you look at it, the Turnpike Troubadours are back, and “Mean Old Sun” is your proof.
We’ve been waiting on this for a long time now, so go celebrate, and make sure you keep this one on repeat. The greatest band of all time has done it again.