Just minutes before they perform, band members RC Edwards and Evan Felker break out into a dance they describe as “a warm up of movements.” Kyle Nix drinks a 5 Hour Energy, and the Turnpike Troubadours head to take the stage at the 85th annual Texas FFA State Convention.
On Tuesday night, the sound of thousands of FFA students clapping to the beat of the Turnpike Troubadours music filled the Dallas Convention Center. The folk inspired tunes that they play include the violin and the electric bass, which give them a different sound and set them apart from other country music artists.
This is the first performance at a FFA state convention for the Turnpike Troubadours.
The band was formed after the members met each other while performing with other bands in the same location. When the opportunity arose, they knew that forming the band would be something special even if, as they claim, “no one else would have them.” The band now consists of RC Edwards, Gabriel Pearson, Evan Felker, Kyle Nix and Ryan Engleman.
The band’s name started as a nickname that soon stuck as they began playing folk songs in honkytonks throughout Oklahoma. Most Oklahoma residents refer to a toll road as a turnpike, and their fans gave them a name that lasted.
For nearly five years, the Turnpike Troubadours have been traveling together across the country and abroad. The band hopes to show their musical abilities in all 50 states.
“We have a sticker map of the United States and every time we knock a new one down we put another [sticker] on there,” Edwards said.
The Turnpike Troubadours have experienced several different cultures while touring the world in places such as Canada, Italy, Sweden and Norway.
The band has high hopes to “stay afloat” and continue moving forward with their career. Playing at state convention has been one way that they broaden their fan base and keep growing.