The Oklahoma based band, “Turnpike Troubadours,” will be playing on Oct. 27, at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee.
The band started out like any many other bands trying to get on their feet by playing at dive bars and honky tonks.
The five‐member band writes and produces most of all of their music. The band consists of Kyle Nix on the fiddle, Ryan Engleman on guitar as well as pedal steel guitar, Evan Felker sings lead, R.C. Edwards on the bass and Gabe Pearson on the drums.
“We just like to have fun and play as authentic music as we can,” Nix said.
The band met by chance, just by being in other bands in the same place and playing at the same gigs.
“I met the guys when I was playing with another fella,” Nix said. “We happened to just be playing the same show on the same night, and we got to know each other. It’s mostly the same story, we all ended up connecting.”
It’s always an important aspect to find a band you’re compatible with, and according to Nix, they are.
“We all have pretty similar taste in music as well as similar personalities,” Nix said.
Nix has been playing the fiddle since he was about 9 years old, and that’s when he knew he wanted to play music for the rest of his life.
“I was actually an artist too,” he said. “I went to college on an art scholarship in Oklahoma, and I thought I would maybe do that for a while, then music pulled me back.”
As he started getting sick of college classes, like many of us, he decided to go back to what he knew he would always love.
“I started lacking the passion in any future of art,” Nix said. “I always had passion for music regardless of what I was doing.”
One of Nix’s greatest influences in his life was his grandfather.
“A personal influence of mine is my Grandpa Nix, he was the reason I play fiddle,” Nix said. “He actually made fiddles and they were always laying around the house. I always had this urge to want to play them.”
Nix was always encouraged to play by his grandfather because no one is his family really played fiddles.
“He always encouraged that I play,” Nix said. “Every time I went over there he wanted me to play a different song as I started to learn. He was really the biggest influence on me.”
As far as professional musical inspiration, Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass was a big influence in his life.
Other influences include Hank Williams Sr., and a guy named Bob Wills who played frequently in Texas.
“A lot of the style I play comes a lot from what they did,” he said.
Nix said the most rewarding part is having people listen to their music.
“It still blows me away that stuff you work on in your bedroom or on your front porch can end up in people’s CD players and on their phones to listen to as much as they want, it still kind of gets me,” Nix said. “I love music and I love listening to other people’s work. It’s pretty neat that people listen to your stuff the way you listen someone else, it’s just really cool to be heard.”
Nix is thrilled to be able to devote his career to music.
“I know many people in our band have had hard working jobs, like working in factories, our lead singer Evan was an electrician at one point too,” Nix said.
“We all worked different jobs, it’s just really cool to be able to play music for a living for people who actually want to hear it.”