Back in 2012, I decided I wanted to start a country music blog. I was inspired by some other great websites, but mostly I was inspired because I wanted to tell my friends about the great country music they were missing. At the forefront of those thoughts were the Turnpike Troubadours. These guys have been doing absolutely everything right in country music, and this site was a way to tell people about them and so many others. So if you love (or hate) my ramblings, you can thank (or blame) these guys for a large part of the inspiration behind it. Well, finally, the guys have released some music and I can review it. "Down Here" is the lead single from their self-titled album due out in September. As usual, "Down Here" finds the guys making great country music that is fresh and fun.
"Down Here" tells a pretty simple tale of a down-on-their-luck friend who comes back after a crippling defeat of some sort. The guys offer a shoulder to cry on and an understanding tone. The unspecific nature of the song makes it easy to relate to for a variety of situations, but his has enough continuity to be a story at the same time. "You can have a nickel out of my last dime" is one of the more clever lines in the song, epitomizing the "shirt off my back" attitude that the song represents. It has enough depth that country fans with a trained ear will not feel insulted, but simple enough that the mainstream crowd won't have to think too much to get something from it. The Turnpike Troubadours always have a knack for these simple, yet profound songs. Calling this one excessively profound would be a stretch, but the point is that they wrote an accessible song that isn't stupid. In 2015, that's impressive.
The biggest draw to the Troubadours for me has always been their sound. They have a unique approach, mixing electric guitars with fiddle and steel with ease. Their sound is loud and heavy, but still feels connected to the roots of country music. Add in Even Felker's one of a kind voice and you have a recipe for a hard to replicate sound you won't hear anywhere else. "Down Here" fits right in with their previous work. The song has a loud mix that is heavy on the steel guitar and electric guitar that begs to be played at peak volume. The melody of the music actually reminds me of "Where The Green Grass Grows" by Tim McGraw, but with double the energy. Simply put, the Turnpike Troubadours' sound is the very definition of how country music should evolve. It is a healthy dose of both the past and the future, and "Down Here" is a great example of it.
"Down Here" is a pretty straight-forward song, but it does its job. It gets us all excited for the new album and reminds the old fans why we love the Turnpike Troubadours. If you are a country music fan, these guys have got to be on your radar. I've been telling anyone who would listen that these guys would blow up soon, and this upcoming album might be where it happens. If "Down Here" is any indication, it will be a great record. They stuck to their sound and danced with the one they came with. The Turnpike Troubadours are country music's next big thing, and "Down Here" is a great song. Check these guys out now if you haven't yet!