Real life - including heartaches, happiness, fishing holes, and everything in between - has had a way of finding itself in the middle of Josh Turner
songs since he first burst onto the national country music scene.
It's those life experiences that keep drawing him back to what has become his unique yet easily identifiable country sound. "Growing up, traditional country music was always where my heart was at," he says, "because those songs were speaking about the life that I was living in rural South Carolina. It was all about love and work and life and just the everyday stuff that people go through. It has always made me feel good-- the melodies, the lyrics-- so that's what I'm trying to carry on."
Turner's drive to "carry on" has led to his latest CD, Everything is Fine
. The album is grounded in the traditional music from his grandparents' record collection he heard growing up, with the addition of fresh sounds that speak to today's music fans. Everything is Fine
captures his personal music style more than ever.
Nashville's first taste of that style came with his debut at the Grand Ole Opry in December 2001. The moment has become somewhat legendary in Opry storytelling circles. "When the curtain opened that night," the proverbial storyteller would begin, "no one holding a ticket to the show had ever heard of Josh Turner. But by the end of that chilly Nashville evening, the young singer was all anyone in the audience could talk about." Turner wowed the crowd with his self-penned "Long Black Train", the song that would eventually become his first hit. During this performance, the unknown baritone was showered with several standing ovations.
After being called back for an encore during which the audience rewarded him with another standing ovation, Turner remembers, "I was fighting back the tears out there. I couldn't think straight. I was tore up." Josh Turner's star began shining that night and hasn't dimmed.
Fast forward nearly six years: Turner has become a husband to wife Jennifer and a father to a one-year-old son Hampton, all while quietly ascending the path to country music superstardom. Two of his singles-- "Your Man" and "Would You Go With Me"-- have become multi-week number one hits, he's an in-demand touring act, and he's a first-time nominee in the Country Music Association Awards' prestigious Male Vocalist category.
Turner can also celebrate the success of first-class album sales. His debut album sold more than one million copies and his sophomore album, Your Man, was one of only four country albums to reach double-platinum status in 2006. His is also continuously heralded by critics as one of the brightest young stars in country music today and his voice has been compared to the legendary Johnny Cash
. This status is marked by his recent invitation to be one the youngest members of the famed Grand Ole Opry. Turner will be formally inducted by one of his Idols, Vince Gill
, on October 27, 2007.
Turner's success since his debut, both personally and professionally, finds its way through the lyrics of his latest disc and leaves the listener feeling uplifted and inspired. The first tune from Everything is Fine
to hit the radio is the infectious "Firecracker," a song Turner co-wrote in which he extols the steamy virtues of his female companion: "…When it comes to love, she ain't no slacker / my little darlin' is a firecracker…" Turner says the song exemplifies how traditional country music can be fun and positive.
Things don't get much more positive than with the album's self-penned title track, one of seven songs Turner wrote for the project. The man in "Everything is Fine" enjoys the kind of life to which everyone aspires. To the tune of a banjo and a country fiddle, the song praises the joys of being at peace with family and the Lord, not to mention the joy of hearing an old dog singing and the promise of an upcoming fish fry. "He realizes," says Turner, "that life isn't perfect, but everything is fine."
And though their property values might not be appreciating at dramatic levels, the raucous guitar licks and driving drums confirm that for the folks in Turner's solo-penned "Trailerhood," everything is fine, as well. Love in its many forms is a familiar theme on Turner's third studio album. Ranging from the George Jones
classic "One Woman Man" to the sentimental "The Longer the Waiting (the Sweeter the Kiss)" and "Soulmate."
On "Another Try," written by Chris Stapleton and Jeremy Spillman, Turner duets with country superstar Trisha Yearwood
about loss and lessons learned…"The reasons I'm alone I know by heart/ But I don't want to spend forever in the dark/ I swear next time I'll hang on for dear life/ If love ever gives me another try." Turner calls the song "one of the best ballads I've ever heard, period. It makes you feel what that guy is feeling in that song, that failure that he's feeling," he says. "It's very relevant to what people go through in everyday life."
The second collaboration on the record is with acclaimed Grammy nominated R&B artist Anthony Hamilton
on the inspiring "Nowhere Fast." Hamilton, a co-writer of the song, tailored the tune for Turner. It was upon their first meeting in a Nashville studio that they recorded this track.
Once again, it's everyday life to which Turner's music returns. An everyday life of heartaches, happiness, fishing holes, and everything in between; in Turner's case, a career that's hotter than a firecracker.
Josh Turner Tour Dates
10-10-2007 Dallas, TX American Airlines Arena
10-13-2007 Montgomery, AL Alabama National Fair
10-14-2007 Columbia, SC South Carolina State Fair
10-15-2007 Raleigh, NC North Carolina State Fair
10-19-2007 Fort Wayne, IN Memorial Coliseum (with Sara Evans)
10-20-2007 Green Bay, WI Resch Center (with Sara Evans)
10-21-2007 Madison, WI Alliant Energy Center (with Sara Evans)
10-26-2007 Pikeville, KY Eastern Kentucky Expo Center (with Sara Evans)
10-27-2007 Nashville, TN Grand Ole Opry
11-09-2007 Norman, OK Riverwind CasinoListen to "Firecracker"
(Streaming audio and/or video links may expire without notice)