Turnpike Troubadours

Gritty and somber one moment, lively and euphoric the next, the Turnpike Troubadours' mash-up of country, rock, Americana and bluegrass is a rollercoaster ride. Evan Felker's swaggering, slightly gravelly vocals entrance you whether he's crooning to a wayward lover on the raucous “Doreen,” or waltzing through a hip-shaking roadhouse rocker about a woman whose presence is “going to wreck this town” (“The Mercury”). And if the record doesn't grab you with its melodic country tracks, the blues-tinged rock of “Down Here,” with its theme of picking oneself up after a fall from grace, likely will. Failing that, the morose electric guitar ballad “Fall Out of Love” provides a fresh take on how to deal with having your heart broken. After all the album's ups and downs, it ends on a high note with the bluegrass-rock number “Bossier City,” featuring crazy guitars and funky violin throughout. Damn, if it isn't a party from start to finish. Turnpike Troubadours is one hell of a show.