Turnpike Troubadours bass player RC Edwards was excited to play Under The Big Sky Rodeo, Round-up and Music Festival at Big Mountain Ranch in Whitefish, Montana, this weekend – and even happier that his band is back together.
Turnpike Troubadours went on indefinite hiatus May 31, 2019, and started teasing fans on social media with their return in November of 2021. The band is on a summer tour that stopped in Whitefish, Montana, Friday, July 15 and will swing through Nashville to play two nights at Ryman Auditorium July 29-30.
Standing backstage minutes before the band headlined the festival's largest stage, Edwards said: "Great event, great lineup, great backdrop, great weather, but then this whole year has kind of been important to us."
"It's just great to get the band back together doing what we love again and making music," said Edwards, who released his debut solo project "Big Country" during the hiatus. "Our break was nice. We all did some little side to keep us busy, but it wasn't Turnpike. It's weird to think of a reunion, but I guess that's what it is. It's been a blast so far. You don't even know how much you missed it until you're finally all (together) again."
Edwards said it's undeniable that fans missed the band as much as the band missed playing together.
"It's almost like making them cry, how excited people are about us," he said. "You might take it for granted once in a while or forget something, but then when you see it again, you realize how lucky you are to get to do this and what you mean to people."
About 20,000 fans cheered enthusiastically when Turnpike Troubadours took the stage as the sun went down. Still, Edwards said Ryman Auditorium's more intimate audience would be just as meaningful to the group. The two nights the band will play the venue later this month mark the first time Turnpike Troubadours will be on the stage.
"That's always kind of bucket list," he said of playing Ryman Auditorium. "We're super stoked for that. We'll just be doing more of the same. It's just kind of us. We've never really fit too clean into a category. We always say we're a country band. We play country music, honkytonk music, and we like all kinds of music, so a lot of that filters into what we do."
And he promised the band has a few surprises in store for fans sooner than later.
"We want people to know that there's things cooking that they don't even know about it," he said. "They're not even ready for it."