Live favorites the Turnpike Troubadours have canceled their remaining tour dates this year, ending a tumultuous period for the Oklahoma band. Last Friday, they abruptly canceled multiple weekend shows with a request for prayers, leaving the band’s future in doubt.
On Friday in a lengthy Facebook post, the Turnpike Troubadours offered a sincere apology for the missed shows and announced an indefinite hiatus. “We want nothing more than the opportunity to heal, and to not put all of you through this ever again,” they wrote. The group — made up of singer Evan Felker, fiddler Kyle Nix, bass player RC Edwards, drummer Gabe Pearson, guitarist Ryan Engleman and accordion/steel player Hank Early — left open the possibility of returning at some point when they felt “everyone is of strong mind, body and spirit and can deliver what our fans deserve.”
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To Our Fans, We want to again apologize for the abrupt cancellations of our shows this past weekend. We can assure you that the situation was not in our control. We want nothing more than the opportunity for to heal, and to not put all of you through this ever again. To have a chance for any of this, we need to cancel all of our remaining tour dates. Turnpike Troubadours will go on an indefinite hiatus until a time we feel that everyone is of strong mind, body and spirit and can deliver what our fans deserve. Refunds for all scheduled shows can be made at point of purchase. To all of you who have given us so much, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You believed in us, you raised us up, you stuck by us and you gave us more unconditional love than any band could ask for. We are humbled. We ask that you please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we work to support and encourage. Thank you all for everything. We love you!
Back in November, the band was forced to cancel several shows, citing a “situation that needs our complete attention” and making a reference to a “family member” who needed their support. The band echoed this language again last week, mentioning a “brother” who was in need of encouragement. So far, the Turnpike Troubadours haven’t specified who is in need of help, though a handful of country blogs have pointed to a fan-shot video of frontman and principal songwriter Felker giving a disastrous performance at a benefit in early May.
Back in 2017, the group released their fifth album A Long Way From Your Heart. Speaking to Rolling Stone at the time, Felker, who found himself in the tabloids the following year for his brief relationship with Miranda Lambert, commented on his preference for solitary writing.
“There’s a line in East of Eden by [John] Steinbeck that says, ‘There’s not ever been a really brilliant co-write.’ All the brilliant stuff comes from one mind and one hand,” he said. “I’m not saying [my writing] is brilliant, I’m just saying the best stuff comes from one person.”