Album review: JOSH TURNER – Country State Of Mind

JOSH TURNER - Country State Of Mind

Snakefarm Records [Release date 21.08.20]

In the world of country music, an album of duets is definitely not a lonesome trail! Nor in fact is an album of country standards – in fact they are well worn trails. However, that’s not to say they’re not good. They can even sometimes be great – for example Willie Nelson’s famous IRS “tax” album ‘Across the Borderline” ranks among his greatest ever work! This one really hits the spot. I like Josh Turner, but have always felt his work is a little “mainstream country” for my tastes, but I have to say – yes this one hits the spot!

Josh Turner is an artist with a multi-platinum background. His first two albums spawned four Country Number One singles, propelling him to immediate success. He is the winner of several CMA Awards and won both the song of the year and the single of the year for “Would You Go With Me?”

However, here his choice of “hero’s” and duet partners is exemplary, for example trading licks with Florida legend John Anderson on the latter’s hit “I’ve Got it Made”. Even the songs he sings as solo standards, without a duet partner are dripping in good taste, and include Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken”, Johnny Cash’s “Caretaker” and Hank Junior’s “Country State of Mind”. Alan Jackson’s classic “Midnight in Montgomery”, itself a tribute to Hank Williams is also given a very credible workout. Oh, and the title song to the “Dukes of Hazard” – we’ll forgive that !

Actually, “Midnight in Montgomery” suits Josh Turner down to the ground and is a great cut – a very good showcase for the album

Special mention, though should go to another true legend, Randy Travis – with a rendition here of his classic hit “For Ever and Ever, Amen” which actually marks his first recording session since a debilitating stroke in 2013.

If all this were not enough, Turner combines with 2019 newcomers and superstars in the making “Runaway June”, and likewise “Maddie and Tae”.

Excellent taste and choice not to mention execution throughout, from the best newcomers on the country scene to bona fide legends – a very good album. ****

Review by Iain McGonigal

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