Turnpike Troubadours at The Ryman by Sarah Cahill

Turnpike Troubadours Close Ryman Run with Old Favorites and New Hits

August 15, 2023 11:53 am GMT
Last Edited December 4, 2023 7:44 pm GMT

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Photography by Sarah Cahill

No slight to the first two shows of their run, but Turnpike Troubadours clearly saved the best for last during their three-night stint at the Ryman Auditorium, ending with an emphatic performance of August 12.

During the show the band was all business, for the most part cutting out the banter and getting straight into the music over the course of nearly two hours that saw them dive into every album from their discography, including A Cat in the Rain, their forthcoming record due out Aug. 25.

Among the songs played were the three singles released from the project thus far — ‘Mean Old Sun’, ‘Chipping Mill’ and ‘Brought Me’ — the latter making its live debut.

The rest of the night was reserved for Turnpike’s best hits, which began with set opener ‘The Bird Hunter’ and continued into ‘Good Lord Lorrie’, ‘Every Girl’ and ‘7 & 7’.

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Photography by Sarah Cahill

Felker later dismissed everyone in the band apart from Hank Early on pedal steel from the stage for an intimate telling of ‘Diamonds & Gasoline’, before handing things off to bassist R.C. Edwards to tackle his new song ‘For the Sake (When it Comes to Loving You)’ with an assist from fiddler Kyle Nix and guitarist Ryan Engleman.

Once that concluded, the entire group reassembled and conquered their most sought-after cover song, John Hartford’s ‘Long Hot Summer Day’, stirring awake the Holy Spirit inside the Mother Church and causing everyone in attendance to spontaneously begin to stomp their feet and sing in unison, nearly drowning out the band with their euphoric trance.

With the room back down to earth, the collective tore into ‘The Housefire’ before cozying up for the heartwarming ‘Something to Hold On to’, their 21st and final song of the night.

Despite there being no encore, fans were anything but disappointed. As crowds filtered out of the Ryman and into the bustling bars on Broadway all the discussion and looks on faces were ones of pure jubilation and satisfaction, having just been taken on an epic red dirt rollercoaster ride they won’t soon forget.

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Photography by Sarah Cahill

Opening up the evening was fellow Okie Kaitlin Butts, who — along with help from her band of Asstronauts — warmed up the crowd with her ballads of self-described “sad yeehaw vibes” that included renditions of originals like ‘blood’, ‘what else can she do’ and fan-favorite ‘Marfa Lights’. Also in the mix was an electrifying cover of Lead Belly’s ‘In the Pines’ and a set-closing performance of Shania Twain’s ‘Any Man of Mine’ that turned into a sing-along and drew the crowd to its feet.

With an endearing charm and songs that jab at the heart it won’t be long before Butts is headlining the Ryman herself. Saturday’s appearance there couldn’t have been a better audition as she looks poised to continue the Sooner State’s streak of producing top-tier country music talent.

Turnpike Troubadours - Setlist

Taken from their performance at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN on Aug. 12, 2023

The Bird Hunters

Good Lord Lorrie

The Mercury

Every Girl

7 & 7

Before the Devil Knows We’re Dead

Pay No Rent

A Tornado Warning

Easton & Main



Chipping Mill

Mean Old Sun

Brought Me

Whole Damn Town

Kansas City Summer

Diamonds & Gasoline

For the Sake (When it Comes to Loving You)

Long Hot Summer Day (John Hartford cover)

The Housefire

Something to Hold On to

Kaitlin Butts - Setlist

Taken from her performance at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN on Aug. 12, 2023

White River



what else can she do

We’re All Gonna Die Someday (Kasey Chambers cover)


In The Pines (Lead Belly cover)

Marfa Lights

it won’t always be this way

Any Man of Mine (Shania Twain cover)

For more on Turnpike Troubadours, see below:

Written by Matt Wickstrom
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