The Turnpike Troubadours may not be from Texas, but they get here as often as they can—the next nine dates of the band’s fall tour include a whopping seven performances in Texas, including in off-the-beaten-path towns like Belton and Brenham (as well as the expected gigs in Austin, Houston, and Dallas, naturally). To paraphrase Lyle Lovett: That’s right, they’re not from Texas, but Texas wants the Turnpike Troubadours anyway.
And with a song like “The Bird Hunters,” which premieres exclusively on Texas Monthly below, it’s clear why: The song, a busted ballad that doubles as a Cajun waltz, captures the heart of the Red River region. It’s full of imagery like the rodeo dance, the Fourth of July celebrations you find in small towns, and counting the doves you nabbed on a hunting trip with your buddies. “The Bird Hunters” is a literary ode to a life that countless Texans (and sure, Oklahomans, too) have lived, and when you accompany that sort of tale with fiddles and harmonies, it sounds pretty darn good.