The last time I spoke with Josh Turner was in 2013 for his appearance at a local venue as part of his “Punching Bag” tour.
Turner is returning to the area as a headliner at the Cattaraugus County Fair on Thursday, August 1 in Little Valley, NY.
I was lucky enough to catch up with the singer/songwriter, who hasn’t slowed down. He continues to tour regularly and will be heading to England for a few dates in September.
The Grand Ole Opry member’s most recent project is a gospel album called “I Serve A Savior”, which came out in the fall of 2018. Although his debut album in 2003, “Long Black Train”, gave a nod to the gospel genre, this latest album is gospel track-to-track with some of the most recognized gospel songs as well as original songs … one in particular has close family ties, which you will read about.
The recipient of rave reviews and top placements on multiple Billboard Top 10 charts, “I Serve A Savior” has met all expectations for the singer.
With hits like “Long Black Train”, “Time Is Love”, “Your Man” and “Why Don’t We Just Dance”, Turner is no stranger to nominations for Grammys, CMA & ACM awards, and has reached a milestone at the Grand Ole Opry since his last appearance in Western New York in 2013, which we also touched on in the following conversation.
Get your tickets now and bring your best line dancing skills for a night of great music and a whole lot of fair fun at the 177th annual Cattaraugus County Fair.
Tickets for Josh Turner’s performance start at $35 and can be purchased through www.cattarauguscofair.com or by calling 1-800-514-3849. (All ticket goers must purchase gate admission for the day of the concert.) For more information on Josh Turner visit www.joshturner.com
A CONVERSATION WITH JOSH TURNER
HULICK: You’ve had tremendous success with your albums over the years. Your most recent album, “I Serve A Savior”, not only went to the top on Billboard’s Top Country Albums, but also on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums. Was a gospel album always something you wanted to do?
TURNER: This current record has been a dream come true in some ways because, yes, I’ve wanted to do a gospel record for a long time and my fans have asked for it too.
HULICK: The reviews were impressive, with Worship Magazine saying it is “musically brilliant”. Getting that validation from another genre must give you a sense of pride that few artists get to know.
TURNER: Being complimented on this record by the Christian music genre has been very fulfilling. I didn’t seek that out, though. I just strived to make the most heartfelt record I could. Seeing how it has sold so far and getting the praise is all “icing on the cake”!
HULICK: The album includes some well known gospel songs as well as some original music. One in particular was written by your wife, Jennifer and your son, Hampton. Tell me how that came about. Have they written for you before?
TURNER: The River (Of Happiness) was written by my wife and my eldest son about five years ago at this point. This is the first cut they’ve ever had. Hampton was playing something on his mandolin and Jennifer asked what it was. He said it was something he just made up. She then replied, “That is how you write songs; you make up words and music and put them together.” She asked what he saw when he played it. He said “a river.” She asked “what kind of river?” He said “a happy one.” They sat down to write the song and the rest is history!
HULICK: Has your idea of becoming a major player in country music changed from the time of your debut album, “Long Black Train” in 2003 changed at all?
TURNER: My goals in this business haven’t really changed all that much. I still look for the best songs I can find for me and my voice and hope they have success and a positive effect on my fans.
HULICK: You are one of the youngest members of the Grand Ole Opry and hit a very impressive milestone as far as the number of performances you’ve had. Can you talk about that a little?
TURNER: I’m over the 150 performance mark at this point at the Grand Ole Opry. I’ve been a member now for almost 12 years. Both of these facts are hard to believe for me. The Opry has been really good to me and I’ve tried to be good to it. I wasn’t keeping count of my performances and didn’t know they were!
HULICK: In 2003 we talked about the Josh Turner Scholarship Fund, which supports music education and assists students interested in a future in arts & music. Do you have any success stories of any of the students the fund has helped?
TURNER: My scholarship fund was started by my wife and me in October 2005, I think. We have had quite a few recipients thus far and they’ve all gone on to the college of their choice and seem to be doing really well. I’m proud of the fact I can help young people pursue a career in the arts.
HULICK: What’s the best thing about being Josh Turner?
TURNER: The best thing about being Josh Turner is that I’m married to my soul mate, Jennifer, with whom I have 4 incredible boys … and I get to make country music for a living!