Evan Felker Of The Turnpike Troubadours Performs Acoustic Rendition Of “The Bird Hunters” On The MeatEater Podcast

Evan Felker

You can probably count on your hands how many country music groups are doing it like The Turnpike Troubadours.

Actually, I think I’ll take that back, because I’m not sure anyone is doing country music like the Troubadours. They’re truly one-of-a-kind, and when everyone else is writing songs about breakups, and beer, or partying after a breakup by drinking beer, The Turnpike Troubadours are busy writing songs about hunting birds in the fashion that vaguely reminds you of an old sea shanty (remember when those were big during the lockdown?).

If you haven’t caught on yet, I’m talking about the song by them called “The Bird Hunters,” which is a fan-favorite, and is criminally underrated. Just read through the first verse of the song and you should be able to gather that not a lot of people are doing it like them:

“Well the covey took wing
Shotguns a-singing
A pointing dog down in the old logging road

And Danny got three and looked back a-grinning
I fumbled around and I tried to reload

The country was cold with the sun westward sinking
It’s good to be back in this place

With my hands around a Belgian made Browning
My mind on the lines of her face…”

How great is that?

The band took a hiatus in 2019, and thankfully, they got back together in 2021 to continue performing, and just recently released a phenomenal album titled A Cat In The Rain. Lead man Evan Felker also stopped by the MeatEater podcast to talk about he and his band’s music, and naturally, the hosts of the podcasts asked if he would be willing to play one of their favorite songs.

Requests like that can sometimes lead to an awkward or disingenuous performance, but that was far from the case when Felker broke into an acoustic performance of “The Bird Hunters” for the podcast. The video of the rendition was posted with the caption:

“Sound up, folks! Evan Felker of The Turnpike Troubadours joined us for the latest MeatEater podcast. We put him on the spot and asked for a live rendition of one of our all time favorites. You’re going to want to set aside a few minutes for this one.”

Just the best…

And if, by chance, you wanted to listen to the original studio version with the full band behind it, I’ve got the video for “The Bird Hunters” linked below. I’ve always loved the studio version, though every time I see it live, or performed more intimately like the clip above, it makes me appreciate the song that much more.

Check out the studio version and see what you think:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock