Red Hot and Red Dirt
BY DUANE CLANCY
The Turnpike Troubadours
Starting out on the Red Dirt circuit can never be easy for a new band, but the Turnpike Troubadours have definitely paid their dues. In the early days, they put more than a few miles on their vehicles in search of an audience. A few years later, with three albums under their belt, all their hard work is paying off and the audiences are easy to find.
They bring all the elements of a bluegrass/country band together with a stylish flair. The band’s hard-driving percussion lines lend themselves well to rock music and allows them a growing cross-over audience. Mainstream country lovers will continue to stomp their boots to the beat.
The powerful voice of front-man Evan Felker and the consistently technical expertise of lead guitar player Ryan Engleman make an almost unstoppable duo. Teamed up with the musical abilities of bassist RC Edwards, fiddler Kyle Nix and percussionist Gabe Pearson, this home-grown band is filling venues wherever they play.
Hailing from Tahlequah, the band has had its ups and downs. They went through a few members before landing with their current line-up. Their shear tenacity and winning attitude gave them the drive necessary to get places that leave others in the dust, and they are now doing well on the music charts. Of course, their hard-driving, down-home style and interactive stage presence hasn’t hurt either.
They have recorded three albums to date. Their first album “Bossier City,”made few waves on the music scene, but it did give them some much needed recording experience. “Diamonds and Gasoline” started to bring them out into the light, especially with the lead track “Every Girl,” making #30 on the 2010 Texas Music Charts. This album was also a hint of the band they were becoming: it was a true progression in both style and content.
The Turnpike Troubadours have come into their own with their newest album, “Goodbye Normal Street.” Their upbeat, country-based sound and real-world imagery has finally reached the hearts and ears of a much larger audience. Their new-found success is evident in their recent European tours and a fully booked schedule. Expect to hear more from the Turnpike Troubadours in the future; they are definitely here to stay.
The Turnpike Troubadours will be performing at the Wormy Dog Saloon in Bricktown, Oklahoma City, on Oct. 19. Lead-man, Evan Felker, is performing acoustic on Oct. 24 at Eskimo Joe’s in Stillwater. Their full calendar is available on their website, www.turnpiketroubadours.com.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14, 2012, but the way has never been smooth for this band of hard knocks. They have struggled with drugs and addiction since the beginning, in 1983. Addiction has caused many of the upheavals and turbulence that has played prominently in the band’s history. Few musicians who have lasted this long are still as active, and few have made as many waves on their rise to the top of the heap.
For a while their problems seemed never-ending. They lost members to addiction. They revamped the line-up due to professional and creative differences. They disagreed on how the band should progress musically. They experimented with different musicians on a temporary basis, only to drop them due to personality differences and conflicts. In spite of these setbacks, however, they persevered.
Running the gauntlet of creative expression from the beginning, their styles have ranged from funk-rap psychedelic, to a more heavy hitting progressive rock style; swinging back to a combination of all their accrued melodic knowledge and experience.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are now on the second year of the world-wide promotional tour for their tenth studio album, “I’m With You.” Earlier in the tour, front-man Anthony Kiedis experienced an aggravated injury to his foot. His injury set the tour schedule back a few months and many shows had to be rescheduled. Another “minor” setback occurred when guitar lead Josh Klinghoffer broke his foot and was forced to wear a correctional boot. According to drummer Chad Smith, Josh plays even better with the injury.
Vocalist Anthony Kiedis and bassist Michael (Flea) Balzary are the only two remaining original members of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their style has changed slightly over time, but they have remained loyal to their original, unique feel.
The current members of the band appear to be simpatico. Their musical styles are complementary, without the conflicts brought on by the personal problems and drug abuse that plagued them in the past. Their continued success as musicians and artists, even after thirty years of turbulence, is a fitting testament to just how far they’ve matured and grown personally and professionally.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are on the Oklahoma rock scene this month with two concerts in the state. They will be at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City on Oct. 22 and will be performing in Tulsa at the BOK Arena on Oct. 23.
The RHCP have a well detailed and user friendly web-site at redhotchilipeppers.com. A merchandise shop is available on the site, including singles, albums, videos, live footage, links to reviews, and events.Share story on Facebook Share story on Twitter Email a Friend.