Written by bassist and founding Member R.C. Edwards, alongside Oklahoma up-and-comer and frequent collaborator Lance Roark, “Chipping Mill” is a cleverly penned tune with sonically masterful instrumentation that catches the essence of Turnpike’s beloved sound.
The second single off of their highly anticipated upcoming record A Cat in the Rain, “Chipping Mill” differs stylistically from the lead single “Mean Old Sun” but is still very much on brand for the Oklahoma red dirt outfit.
With a more prominent fiddle from Kyle Nix backing Felker’s iconic vocals, the song traverses lyrically through six distinct verses, all of which end in a uniform exclamation – “I always kept the best for you, I always kept the best for you.”
The repetition adds emphasis to the narrator’s sorrowful disposition, seemingly reminiscing on a ruined relationship with something or someone for whom they care deeply. That is my initial interpretation, at least, but as with all Turnpike Troubadours songs, they are layers to these things, and the underlying meaning is likely more complex.
Given the band’s last few years, it’s easy for this song to take on meaning in the context of their hiatus as well. Give it a listen for yourself and see what you think:
“Ran my heart through a chipping mill Sold my soul for rock and roll Gave away all that I could steal But I always kept the best for you I always kept the best for you
Drank my way through a hurricane Thinking bout your wedding ring I’ve done a lot of real dumb things But I always kept the best for you I always kept the best for you”
The Turnpike Troubadours are back, and man, it feels good.
Set to be released on August 25th via their own Bossier City Records label, A Cat in the Rain will be the Turnpike Troubadours’ first record since 2017’s A Long Way from Your Heart.
Given the circumstances, this is shaping up to be one of the most heavily anticipated records in a long time, and with two spectacular singles out in the world, the hype is very real. Check out the tracklist here:
1. “Mean Old Sun”
2. “Brought Me”
4. “Chipping Mill”
5. “The Rut”
6. “A Cat in the Rain”
7. “Black Sky”
8. “East Side Love Song (Bottoms Up)”
9. “Three More Days”
10. “Won’t You Give Me One More Chance”
This album can’t come soon enough. In the meantime, though, queue up some more Turnpike. The greatest band to ever do it.
And you can even catch their recent set from Stagecoach to keep you occupied, too.