For a band from Oklahoma, the Turnpike Troubadours are feeling decidedly Celtic on “Before the Devil Knows Your Dead” from their forthcoming full-length, Goodbye Normal Street. The tune – which takes its name from an Irish proverb – features frenetic fiddling and finger-picking, and, when Hive asked frontman Evan Felker if he drew inspiration from fellow fiddles-and-devils aficionado Charlie Daniels, he looked across the pond instead. “I would set my point of reference a little closer to something by the Pogues,” he says.
No matter the song’s inspiration, its celebratory ode to hard-living is in handled more than capably by Felker and his bandmates, with a stomping, punky beat accompanying the fiddle and guitar that often draws listeners into what Felker describes as “weird hillbilly jigs.” It’s no sin to write country songs with this much energy, but if it were, hopefully the devil would give the Troubadours a pass, too.
Goodbye Normal Street is out May 8.
Turnpike Troubadours - Before the Devil Knows We're Dead