Country star Josh Turner weighs in on new CD, prepares for Sylvania concertWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It was one of those days when Josh Turner was taking life on the chin.
“Everything was blowing up in my face, and I just felt like it was me against the world. And I came home that evening and just started venting to my wife about the day that I had,” he recalled. “I told her I felt like a punching bag; I felt like life was beating me up.
“And when I said it, it just struck me as a song title, and I felt there would be a lot to write about with that title and that concept.”
“Punching Bag,” the country superstar’s fifth studio disc, was released June 12.
The first voice heard on the CD belongs to boxing announcer Michael Buffer, who introduces the six-foot-one-inch 175-pounder as “the tornado of testosterone, the bone-shaking baritone.”
While Turner has never laced up the gloves, he’s a fan of the sport.
“I’ve always admired [boxing] from a distance and been a fan of it, but it’s not something that I ever really wanted to do,” he said from Nashville during a phone interview.
Since stepping into the country music ring with “Long Black Train” in 2003, the knockout has landed a flurry of hits — “Your Man,” “Would You Go With Me,” “Firecracker,” “All Over Me,” “Me and God” and “Why Don’t We Just Dance.”
The singer-songwriter scores with big hooks and is known for his one-two combination — love songs and inspirational numbers.
“Punching Bag” follows that same successful strategy. Turner serves up sweet sentiments with “Left Hand Man,” “Whatcha Reckon,” “Find Me a Baby” and “Good Problem.”
“My granddaddy was definitely very romantic at heart, and he kind of bestowed a lot of that upon me,” Turner said. “Every Valentine’s Day, he would be bringing all the women in the family carnations and just always do stuff like that, and it just really made an impression on me on how to treat the women in your life.
“I guess you could say I am [a romantic], and I think that shows in a lot of my songs.”
His faith also naturally flows into his music.
“People think that I’m always trying to make sure that I have the gospel song on my records, and I’ve been trying to explain where I’m coming from on that because it’s not something that I really set out to do,” Turner said.
“I’m a Christian; I’m the opposite of being religious. So for me, my faith is a huge part of who I am, and anybody who knows me knows that. So I think that part of me comes out in my songs, and I feel like if I don’t put those kinds of songs on my records, then I’m doing my fans a disservice and I’m doing myself a disservice because they’re not getting all of me, and I want my fans to get all of me as an artist.
“And this particular record, there’s not a gospel slot on this record. We have ‘For the Love of God,’ we have ‘I Was There’ and even with a different kind of slant we have ‘Pallbearer,’ so there’s three different kinds of songs on there that are very spiritual in nature.”
Turner will bring that booming voice to Centennial Terrace in Sylvania for an 8 p.m. show June 29. Tickets are $27.50 and $41.50. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Katie Armiger will open.
In his corner will be his wife, Jennifer, who plays keyboards in his band, and their sons: Hampton, Colby and Crawford.
“There’s definitely musical tendencies with all three of them,” Turner said. “They love to dance when the songs come on; the two oldest ones try to sing along. It’s precious to see children that young get into music like that.
“Who knows what they’re going to end up doing one day, but ‘Find Me a Baby’ on this new record features them kind of singing along.”