With the highly anticipated August 25th release of their fifth studio album A Cat in the Rain looming, the legendary Oklahoma Red Dirt country outfit has officially dropped the project’s third single “Brought Me.” And just like the previous singles “Mean Old Sun” and “Chipping Mill,” it’s a powerful tune.
But what else would you expect from the greatest country band of all time?
From the first note, “Brought Me” immediately harkens back to a classic Turnpike sound that is present throughout their existing catalog, but lyrically this track may not have been possible prior to the band’s hiatus and triumphant return.
No longer as jaded by the ways of the music world and more clear-minded than ever as he embraces sobriety, Turnpike frontman Evan Felker is operating with a fresh perspective that is apparent in this deeply personal and affectionately penned love song.
Evan Felker states:
“It’s about our fans, honestly. Or the idea of a crowd and being able to play for a crowd or having the attention of an audience. It’s sort of a thank you to people who stuck with us through this.
The fact we get to come back and play for these amazing crowds that are thousands and thousands of people singing along? It’s an expression of gratitude.”
Check it out for yourself here:
Six years have passed since Turnpike’s most recent album A Long Way From Your Heart was released in 2017, and it’s no secret that the band has been through the wringer in the years that followed.
Just as the band was reaching new heights, Evan Felker was involved in a short-lived affair with Miranda Lambert during a run of shows together that became very public and led to the separation from his wife Staci. As the band’s trajectory slowly began to snowball in the affair’s aftermath, Felker’s performances began to deteriorate, often appearing on stage in a painfully obvious drunken stupor.
As show cancellations piled up, the Turnpike Troubadours had lost much of their charm, and all of these happenings were affecting the camaraderie and relationships within the band. It wasn’t just Felker’s fault, either. Other members of the band were going through their fair share of issues behind the scenes, and this all eventually led to their infamous hiatus at the then peak of their careers from May 2019 to April 2022.
The time proved to be beneficial for the band, as it later came to light that the ultimate reason for their temporary disbandment wasn’t substance abuse issues. Felker had become so jaded by the music industry that he thought he’d quit music altogether, and sobriety didn’t come for quite a while in the aftermath of his walking away from the band.
But with a reinvigorated dedication to his craft, and a clear mind after ultimately seeking sobriety, Evan Felker seems to have a different outlook on life. Maybe it’s the fact that he was able to rekindle the relationship with his wife Staci, or maybe it’s the two young children the Felkers have welcomed into the world over the last few years that have re-sparked the creative flame for Felker. Whatever it is, it could not be more apparent in the band’s latest single.
Given context, “Brought Me” is much more than a cleverly penned love song, it’s an endearing story of redemption and second chances that latently encompasses much of what the Turnpike Troubadours, and specifically Evan Felker, have endured over the last several years.
It represents a new beginning for the Turnpike Troubadours, all while reassuring fans that the signature sound we all have grown to love is still very much intact:
“Well I had loved you for so long
I have no memory of falling, so long now
It feels that we have never been apart
I hear you have a world away
You know for whom you’re calling
I’d have said this years ago
If I’d known where to start
Oh now still beat steady this heart I handed you for free Should you ever need a thing it won’t be hard to find me Standing at the ready with a dance or two still left in me Wager that it won’t appear that I’ve forgot who brought me…”
Aside from Evan Felker, the Turnpike Troubadours are bassist and co-founder R.C. “Rooster” Edwards, Kyle Nix on fiddle, “Hammerin’” Hank Early on steel guitar, Ryan Engleman slinging lead guitar, and Gabe Pearson on percussion. Together, these musicians are an absolute force to be reckoned with, and it appears that will be as apparent as ever on their forthcoming record A Cat in the Rain.
Produced by the legendary Shooter Jennings at Muscle Shoals’ iconic FAME Studios, and finalized in Los Angeles, A Cat in the Rain will contain ten new songs and provide plenty of long awaited new material.
As we await the release of this sonic masterpiece, Check out the album’s full tracklist below.