Traditional country music fans, take note: Josh Turner is bringing his rich baritone voice and a pocketful of hit songs to Temecula.
Promoting not just one, but two albums — the brand new concert set “Live Across America” as well as his latest studio effort “Punching Bag” — Turner and his band have been white hot on their current tour.
They’ll hit the stage locally at 8 p.m. on Oct. 19 at Pechanga Resort & Casino.
“The tour is going great,” said Turner. “It’s really been a great time this year and the crowds are loving the new songs.”
And while Grammy-nominated artist is the owner of multiple number one country songs (“All Over Me” and “Your Man” — just to name a couple) and albums, Turner is much more than just a country singer who harkens back to the days of George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Roger Miller.
For instance, he’s a devoted Christian.
“It’s a huge part of my life. My career is due in part to the talent I’ve been given to perform. It’s everything — it’s such an integral part of who I am and what I’m about,” he said.
He’s also a huge sport fan.
But when asked what he’d rather have — a Super Bowl victory for his beloved Tennessee Titans or another number one single and album — Turner was quick to respond: “Definitely the number ones. Every time.”
It’s safe to say country music and being one of today’s best contemporary artists is still important to him. Football will have to take a backseat.
While every musical artist can rattle off a handful of influential artists and singers who have helped shape their style and sound, it’s interesting to note that the true heroes in Turner’s life are not past country music stars. In fact, they speak to Turner’s South Carolinian roots more than his love for country music.
People such as Civil War General and South Carolina governor Wade Hampton, NASA astronaut and South Carolina native Ron McNair, and famous Revolutionary War-era military officer Francis Marion of the South Carolina Militia are all as important to Turner as, say, Willie Nelson or Waylon Jennings.
Add to this list his father, both grandfathers, and former President George W. Bush, and one gets a distinct sense of what Josh Turner is about as a man.
Which may be part of the reason why the Grand Ole Opry invited him to become a member at such a young age in 2007. Only Carrie Underwood, inducted in 2008, is a younger Opry member.
“The fact they asked me was one of the great honors of my life,” Turner said. “It’s a big responsibility bringing people to country music, and there are always special moments that take place on the Opry stage.”
Honor, faith, family, tradition. That’s what defines Josh Turner.
Oh yeah, he’s an incredibly gifted country music singer as well. Don’t miss him.
Please visit www.pechanga.com for show and ticket information.
Chris Baptiste is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.