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Turnpike Troubadours New Steel Player Delighted To Be On Next Album

photo - Brad Coolidge
photo – Brad Coolidge

Be listening for “Hammerin’” Hank Early on the Turnpike Troubadours’ new album since Hank has become full time steel guitar/accordion player with the band…

Steel guitar and accordion have always been a part of Turnpike Troubadours sound, even if they weren’t featured full time.

Lead guitarist Ryan Engleman started playing some songs on the steel guitar a few years ago which added a new traditional feel to some of their music.

About two years ago,  Ryan injured himself and the band needed a fill in which turned out to be Hank Early.

Hank told ‘Saving Country Music’…“The reason they called me is because Ryan broke his wrist in August 2015. They called me because I was on a short list of guys who could do steel guitar and lead guitar. I definitely wasn’t first on the list but I was the one that was willing to drop everything at the time and take what was presented as a temporary gig. Ryan was able to get back on lead guitar very quickly. I only ended up playing lead for 3 shows I think. And I moved to steel guitar exclusively.”

Early had previously toured as a member of Rodney Parker’s 50 Peso Reward band. That’s when he met The Turnpike Troubadours who later hired drummer Gabriel Pearson from the 50 Peso Reward band.

When Hank first hooked up with the Troubadours, frontman  Evan Felker encouraged him to learn how to play the accordion in addition to playing steel, which he did & also sang background vocals.

Early said…’For a while there, I was pretty sure it was going to end up being a short term thing but over time, thankfully it was decided to keep me around.’

Since he is now full-time steel guitar/accordion player for the Turnpike Troubadours, you will hear Hank on the band’s upcoming album ‘A Long Way From Your Heart’ due out October 20th.

Hank says…I’ve been with the band for just over two years and we’ve made an album together that we are all very proud of and I feel like part of a family.

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