Turnpike Troubadours Frontman Evan Felker Says He’s ‘Found Sobriety and Recovery’ in New Interview
Over a year after the Turnpike Troubadours announced an indefinite hiatus, frontman Evan Felker says he's sober and creating new music. The singer-songwriter, whose struggles with addiction and personal issues were the cause of the band's disappearance, shares how he's doing now in a new book about the Red Dirt music scene.
"I'm good, man ... The past year has been some of the best moments and best parts of my life," Felker tells Josh Crutchmer, the author of the forthcoming book Red Dirt: Roots Music, Born in Oklahoma, Raised in Texas, at Home Anywhere (quote via Rolling Stone). "First and foremost, I found sobriety and recovery. And I stepped away from the road and got a clearer view of the world. I got back to just being me."
"I could not have ever done that while we were touring like we were," he adds. "I had initially blamed everything on being on the road. But it’s only when you take the road out of the equation that you see you’ve still got problems. I was able to start fixing those.”
While Felker's Turnpike bandmates have continued being creative and making music in the year-plus since the band's hiatus began, Felker pretty much completely disappeared from the public eye and the music scene. These days, however, he says he's "been thinking so much about music lately, how maybe I want to tour again." After not writing songs for almost a full year, he's "trying" to do it again.
“Music was the only thing I thought about for most of my adult life — or some version of it, whether it’s actually creating or touring or having a relationship with the band or who I was perceived to be versus who I actually was," Felker explains. "All of these things, I needed to sort out.”
Felker, via his wife Staci, reached out to Crutchmer just as Red Dirt was about to go to press. The author had interviewed Turnpike Troubadours for the book prior to their hiatus; it was the band's last interview all together, in fact.
Turnpike Troubadours made a number of last-minute concert cancelations and called off various swaths of shows in late 2018 and early 2019, with fans speculating that Felker was struggling with addiction, but the band remaining vague about the specific nature of their problems.
During 2018, when Turnpike Troubadours toured with Miranda Lambert, Felker was romantically linked to the country superstar, despite being married to his wife, Staci. Felker's public struggle began around the time he and Lambert reportedly broke up. According to Crutchmer, Felker and Staci are still "together and happy."
Red Dirt: Roots Music, Born in Oklahoma, Raised in Texas, at Home Anywhere is due out on Sept. 19.
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