Review – Turnpike Troubadours’ “Come As You Are”

Featured on Bruce Robison’s new web series The Next Waltz, the Turnpike Troubadours revealed a new single titled “Come As You Are.” Robison’s series is dedicated to giving music fans a more intimate look at songwriting and life on the road through interviews. With the Turnpike Troubadours, we see Robison speak with the band about finding their footing in the early years with clips of them rehearsing “Come As You Are” spliced into the interview, even seeing Bruce coach the band through the opening bars of the song as they finalize the musical arrangement. The Turnpike Troubadours recorded the song in Robison’s studio in Lockhart, Texas.

“Come As You Are” opens with a solemn guitar riff, quickly joined by steel guitar ring and a quiet drum beat. The waltz tune carries traditional country sounds throughout the track, with the steel guitar and fiddle chiming in during the chorus and solos. The verses are underscored with a drum beat and acoustic guitar strum. Frontman Evan Felker sings of being reckless and careless, drinking too much and how those actions affect his relationship, hooking the story with the chorus’ final lines “I wake in the morning to start out my day to the sound of you walking away.” The band chimes in during the chorus with all their voices singing in harmony, something that’s rarely heard on the band’s albums so far. As Felker tells Robison in the interview, “The last verse is about going duck hunting and realizing you’re a jerk. Getting somewhere, sobering up, and getting your mind right, and realizing what you’re missing out on.” After a rough beginning to the year in which Evan Felker was criticized by fans after a few drunken performances, the lyrics to this song almost feel like a confession from Felker, addressing those actions and how a heavy reliance on alcohol can negatively affect your life.

The Turnpike Troubadours absolutely deliver a great, timeless country song with “Come As You Are.” A common description for country music is “3 chords and the truth” and that’s essentially what the Oklahoma band has delivered here. The lyrics are painfully honest and beautifully delivered with a musical arrangement that showcases the best sounds of country music. There’s no word about a follow-up album to their excellent self-titled from last year, but even just one new song from the Turnpike Troubadours is exciting because they’re one of the best bands making country music today. “Come As You Are” is no exception to that.

Grade: 10/10

Written by Evan Felker and Rhett Miller

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3 thoughts on “Review – Turnpike Troubadours’ “Come As You Are”

  1. I’ve been waiting for you guys to review this song! My pick so far for best of the year.
    I’m not a very knowledgeable music guy, but watching the band sort out the opening arrangement, when the steel guitar came in, gave me chills.

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