CD Review: JOSH TURNER – Deep South


Deep South
Deep South – All About You – Hometown Girl –
Beach Bums – Southern Drawl – Where The Girls Are – Never Had A Reason –
Wonder – One Like Mine – Lay Low – Hawaiian Girl
I was very surprised to receive an album to review by Josh
Turner, but I’m glad I did because he did a song some time ago called
“That Long Black Train’ which was an instant hit among our rural folks
here in Iowa.  It went on to become a number one hit for Josh Turner.
The first song on this new CD reminds me very much of John Anderson
swingin’ on the back porch.  In the case of Josh Turner it’s kind of in
the barn kind of fun.  He makes good sense….”We’ll come back to the
country and kick it back, sit and talk about my roots.”  A song he
wrote, and definitely does take one back to one’s roots, but not quite
far enough for me the president of the National Traditional Country
Music Association for the past 42 years.  For me, and for hundreds of
thousands, of fans who really appreciate traditional and classic country
music, Josh has to take one more step back into the past to capture
that same huge audience he pleased 14 years ago with that black train. 
He tells us again about his rural liking in “Hometown Girl”…”She grew
up around here on that southwest side, where the corn grows up to the
road side.”  He sure sounds like he’s from Iowa doesn’t he?  Actually
he’s a South Carolina born boy, a devout Christian, 40 years old,
married to Jennifer Ford in 2003 (the same year Long Black Train hit). 
Jennifer plays keyboard in his band, the “Tonkin’ Honkies,” and sings
background vocals.  They have four sons.  Josh has a very rich
attractive deep voice that stands way above the hungry-crowd of
singers in country music, which sets him apart.  He’s sold over
12-million records, so he’s a neo-traditional power to deal with, and he
keeps home, family, country, and certainly Christ in all that he does. 
I found ‘Deep South’ an easy to listen to album, full of ‘country’
ideas, ‘country’ feelings, ‘country’ love, and certainly ‘country’ music
in the neo-sense.  Josh is a fan and friend of Allen Jackson, so you
know he’s on the right side of country music.  It would be so neat to
hear him take a step back and do something really outrageous, like maybe
do a very traditional album, acoustic and all.  He’s an avid bluegrass
fan and player too, so that shouldn’t be hard. It would be hard for me
to pick a ‘favorite’ song on this album, they are all done incredibly
well.  As an old-timer I found it really nice to be able to ‘hear’ all
that Josh is singing about.  Well darn it, there is one song that really
stands out, steel guitar and all, “Hawaiian Girl” is definitely right
in there with the great artists of the past, Ferlin Husky, Lefty
Frizell, Hawkshaw Hawkins, and even Jimmie Rodgers sang about “everybody
does it in Hawaii.” “Hawaiian Girl” is a fantastic super rendition by
Josh.  There’s a ton of product out there today called country music
that has the lead vocal hidden deep inside the bass and drums. 
Deliberately I’m afraid. That doesn’t happen with Josh Turner.  Doesn’t
have to, he’s a super good vocalist.  I will forward this great CD to
the Rural Roots Music Commission for their appraisal, but unfortunately
Josh is well on the road during the time frame they give out their CD of
the Year awards.  I think ‘Hawaiian Girl” will strike their fancy just
as it does mine.  Who knows, maybe Josh will take that step back in
time, and I’ll get another chance to review not just ‘neo’ but ‘real’
country by him.  Those of us who loved ‘the long black train’ will love
to hear him in that vein again.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President National Traditional Country Music Association. for Country Music News International

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