Hailing from Oklahoma, the Turnpike Troubadours have their home state deep in their blood: their music is earthy, natural, and unpretentious, which doesn’t mean that their second album, Diamonds & Gasoline, is artless. While there’s no mistaking that the bandmembers cut their teeth in dancehalls and roadhouses, there’s also little question that the group, led by singer Evan Felker, also draws deeply from the well of Americana storytelling, often recalling Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen, only whittled down to their essence. There are no spare words in the Turnpike Troubadours' best songs but that doesn’t make them any less evocative: Felker has a knack for ferreting out the details in small-town life and how love goes wrong, particularly on the terrific opening pair of “7&7” and “Every Girl.” There may be an undercurrent of melancholy that surfaces occasionally, particularly on the title track, but Diamonds & Gasoline is music that’s full-blooded and alive, so it’s hard to call this sad: it’s joyous, expertly capturing the ebbs and flows of ordinary life.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine