Over a year after Turnpike Troubadours announced their indefinite hiatus, frontman Evan Felker opened up about finding sobriety in a forthcoming book on the history of Red Dirt music, Red Dirt: Roots Music, Born in Oklahoma, Raised in Texas, at Home Anywhere.
In an interview (excerpted by Rolling Stone) with the book's author, Josh Crutchmer, Felker opened up about his health and happiness, saying "the past year has been some of the best moments and best parts of my life."
"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," Felker said. "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."
The Oklahoma-born singer-songwriter added that, after taking a break from music to focus on his health, he's starting to write music again.
"I've been thinking so much about music lately...how maybe I want to tour again. I'm trying to write songs again. I've taken a full, almost a year away from that," Felker said. "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. All of these things, I needed to sort out."
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Last year, the band announced their indefinate hiatus until everyone is of "strong mind, body and spirit."
"We want nothing more than the opportunity for to heal, and to not put all of you through this ever again. To have a chance for any of this, we need to cancel all of our remaining tour dates. Turnpike Troubadours will go on an indefinite hiatus until a time we feel that everyone is of strong mind, body and spirit and can deliver what our fans deserve," the statement read. ""To all of you who have given us so much, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You believed in us, you raised us up, you stuck by us and you gave us more unconditional love than any band could ask for. We are humbled."
Felker's bandmates have continued to play music. Turnpike Troubadours fiddler Kyle Nix released his first solo album Lightning on the Mountain and Other Short Stories earlier this year.
Red Dirt: Roots Music Born in Oklahoma, Raised in Texas, At Home Anywhere is available for pre-order.