Turnpike Troubadour Kyle Nix Premieres “Sweet Delta Rose”

The Turnpike Troubadours are an institution. Red dirt, country, Americana, roots rock; you can’t define them because they transcend definition. It’s just damn good music.

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While the whole may be greater than the sum of its parts, those parts are pretty damn special in and of themselves and fiddler Kyle Nix is about to put that on display. With his debut solo album, Lightning on the Mountain & Other Short Stories, being released June 26th, Nix is excited to partner with American Songwriter to debut one of its tracks, “Sweet Delta Rose.”

“Sweet Delta Rose” steps into the thirst & hardship of a long-distance relationship when it strikes up strong and unexpectedly,” expounds Nix. “The song was inspired by my wife and my own long-distance relationship. “While we were dating, she lived in Joplin, MO & I lived in Stillwater, OK. Now we live together in a country home with two dogs, two cats on two acres. Some things are worth waiting for.”

An avid fan of story songs (and short stories in general), “Sweet Delta Rose” is more than just an ode to the love of his life, it’s a story with a constant thread running the length of the tune.

“I strung metaphor n’ allegory throughout the song. Certain connections can be made quickly, others take some digging, I suppose. I really enjoyed writing this one. Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts… I think I was inspired by all the connections Dylan used in that tune. I was listening to Blood On The Tracks quite a bit about then.”

As you might imagine, Kyle is backed on the album by many of his Turnpike bandmates, however “Sweet Delta Rose” features a delicious guest appearance on guitar by the one and only Ian Moore.

“Ian Moore played lead guitar on this one. Ian’s one of those humans with a HURRICANE of talent! His kind are few and far between. Such a pleasure to work with him & I hope we create something together again, somewhere down the line.”

While “Sweet Delta Rose” is just one chapter of Lightning on the Mountain & Other Short Stories, the rest of the album is a larger concept. A crafted, western-inspired collection of story songs drawn from Nix’s own history as well as many of the unique characters he “may or may not have encountered” throughout his years on the road. 

Originally from Perry, Oklahoma, it’s almost as if Kyle had no other choice but to be a musician. Growing up, he was literally surrounded by musical instruments as his grandfather was a carpenter and part-time fiddle maker. Being as fiddles are such delicate instruments, they were off limits to a young Nix and as any adult knows, all you have to do is tell a kid he can’t have something and that only makes them want it more. Eventually, the don’t-touch-the-fiddle mandate was lifted and Nix instantly fell in love, taking lessons in Enid, OK from bluegrass fiddler Shirley Landrum.

“I was lucky that my parents were willing to drive me around to lessons & bluegrass festivals,” says Nix. “It really helped fan the flame.”

Some might argue that we are actually the lucky ones.

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