Josh Turner has come a long way from his Grand Ole Opry debut when he, a then unknown, received two standing ovations. Since that day in 2003, he released his first single, was nominated for Best New Artist at the ACM's and nominated for the CMA's Horizon Award for the best newcomer, toured with Brooks & Dunn and saw his debut album Long Black Train reach Platinum status. It was exactly what the Hannah, South Carolina, native hoped for, but didn't expect. For Josh's 2nd album Your Man Josh again teamed up with producer Frank Rogers [Brad Paisley, Darryl Worley] and put together an album that shows his growth and maturity as an artist but also reflects the changes he has experienced as a person. The first single from the new album 'Your Man' continues to showcase Josh's signature deep vocal and mirrors the true love Josh found with his wife that he married shortly after the release of his debut album. MCA. 2006.
The success of his debut, Long Black Train
, had folks in Nashville making bets about Josh Turner's capturing 2004's CMA Horizon Award, but then Turner, whose resonant baritone-bass will rattle the screws out of your car stereo speakers, seemed to quickly fade from sight. Now, with his sophomore album, he proves he wasn't a fluke, even if nothing here immerses itself in the baptismal fire of temptation, death, and redemption with the power of Train.
His duet with Ralph Stanley, "Me and God," which Turner wrote, somehow falls short, especially since Stanley sounds so weak that he might have fallen over at the microphone. Where Turner does bring home the bacon is in moving out of the gospel area and wisely choosing four songs from the pen of the underrated Shawn Camp: "Would You Go with Me," the irresistible bluegrass invitation to forever (with lyrics that sound Biblically inspired, despite the overly romantic tone); the hilarious "Loretta Lynn's Lincoln"; the bluesy "No Rush," which walks the same sexy path as Tony Joe White and Conway Twitty; and the frustrated-husband lament "Baby's Gone Home to Mama." Turner also scores points in tipping his hat to heritage, sometimes more subtle (reworking Don Williams's "Lord Have Mercy on a Country Boy") than overt. But not always. When the South Carolinian launches into his own "Way Down South," a mandolin-and-electric-guitar paean to the geographical womb that formed him, that sound you hear in the background is the whoosh of cowboy hats, sailing through the Dixiefied stratosphere. --Alanna Nash