Gin, Smoke, Lies
Label: Bossier City Records
Turnpike Troubadours' blend of spunky bluegrass and alt-country has been satisfying Red Dirt scenesters for some time, but on their third studio effort, they finally hit their groove. With an ominous pounding kick drum and racing banjo, opener "Gin, Smoke, Lies" is a song about cheating that runs like a dark, Southern gothic novel. "Call a Spade a Spade" is a rollercoaster-of-a-relationship tale that benefits greatly from fellow Texan Jamie Wilson's soft twang. Other highlights include the plaintive "Gone Gone Gone," the jangling "Empty as a Drum" and the twanging heartland rocker "Wrecked."