“I Realized… I Was An Alcoholic” – Evan Felker Details His Decision To Get Treatment During Turnpike’s Hiatus

Evan Felker

As country music fans, we’re all better off that The Turnpike Troubadours got back together.

There’s really no one else in the country music industry that does it like them. The Troubadours continue to bring fresh sound and unique songs to life, like their fan favorite “The Bird Hunters,” which Felker actually played a solo acoustic version of in a clip that was posted earlier today.

The country music band took a hiatus from 2019 to 2021, and a recent interview with lead man Evan Felker that was featured on the MeatEater podcast helped to fill in the gaps as to why that happened.

As Evan has previously shared, a lot of the decision stemmed from his growing disdain towards music, and a problem that was being veiled by life out on the road:

“I was trying to figure out life in general. I was burnt out on playing. That was all I had done from the time I was 24 or so until I was 34. For about 10 years, that’s all I thought about, that’s all I did.

There was a long romantic period where I wrote a lot. I was very creative. Alcohol had that effect on me at that point in time, and then it didn’t.

We were in the bars four or five nights a week and everything was nuts. So I thought ‘well, (when) I get off the road, this problem will solve itself.’ If I changed my schedule, then that should fix that.”

The main source of income for musicians can often be touring, and the act of traveling around and playing music can be extremely taxing on one’s life. It certainly had been for Felker, who suddenly fell out of love with music as a drinking problem surfaced in his life.

It was only when he stopped playing music and ceased touring that he held himself accountable for the problem that had developed. It was then that he realize that it wasn’t the road that made him drink too much, it was another sobering (no pun intended) reality… he was an alcoholic.

He continued during the interview:

“Then I realized that I wasn’t drinking too much because I was on the road, I was drinking too much because I was an alcoholic, oddly enough. (The bars) certainly had their hand in it, but it was time to make another big change.

Once I realized that I couldn’t control that, I went to (rehab). I had a buddy of mine, somebody that I look up to (that had gone to treatment) and had success in that…

And so he said ‘hey I got a spot for you, you ought to just go to this spot where I went,’ and I went and did a 90-day deal and changed my life.”

I think I can speak for all of us and say that it’s phenomenal news that Felker addressed his personal issue and put a stop to it by getting help.

Having the Turnpike Troubadours get back together is great too, but not as important as Evan Felker gaining back control of his life. Now happily remarried to his wife, and the father of two little ones, Evan Felker the man, as well as Evan Felker the musician, is thriving.

He talked about that (around the one hour mark) and more in the interview video linked below:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock