Most songs feel quite modern, but also classic in their new interpretations
Some collaborations could be even stronger
Josh Turner is very successful on the country music side as well as an artist for Christian music. Country State of Mind is his eighth album. The album is honoring country music classics and brings them into the 2020’s. He released it on 21st August 2020.
Josh Turner – About The Artist
Joshua Otis Turner was born on 20th November 1977 in Hannah, South Carolina. He is very religious and found a gospel quartet in his early years. After high school, he moved to Nashville. His first album Long Black Train was already a good success in 2003, peaking third in the US Country Charts and receiving a platinum record. The title track made it up to thirteenth in the US Country charts as well. The second album Your Man already topped the US Country Charts and had two chart-topping singles as well, the title track and Would You Go With Me. Any of the following albums at least made it to the third spot in the US Country Charts. Josh Turner also had two more chart-topping singles, Why Don’t We Just Dance and All Over Me.
Josh Turner – Country State of Mind – Track by Track
The twelve track album lasts 41 minutes.
1. I’m No Stranger To The Rain
The first song of the album still has a very classic country touch. Keith Whitley’s 1988 song feels very similar when Josh Turner does it. I like both versions, definitely.
2. I’ve Got It Made (feat. John Anderson)
Interesting collaboration on I’ve Got It Made: John Anderson, the original artist of this song, is joining Josh Turner for this re-recording. I have to say that I enjoy other tracks of the album much more. I also wished that the two artists would have had duet parts in this interpretation.
3. Why Me (feat. Kris Kristofferson)
Also for Why Me, Josh Turner is partnering with the original artist of the song. The song is very slow, even though it does have more power already than the original. Thumbs up for the new way of performing it to me.
4. Country State Of Mind (feat. Chris Janson)
Me, I’m laid up here in a country state of mind Yeah, I’m catchin’ these fish like they’re goin’ out of style Drinkin’ this homemade wine And if the sun don’t shine tomorrow Oh, people, I have had a good time I’m just laid up here in a country state of mind
Sometimes, this track is already a bit too thickly filled with home country pride – and the yodeling at the end of the song is also a bit too much to me – but apart from that, this collaboration with Chris Janson memorizing the Hank Williams Jr. classic is of course a good one.
5. I Can Tell By The Way You Dance
I can tell by the way you dance That you’re gonna love me tonight
Fun fact: this new interpretation of the Vern Gosdin track is about one minute longer than the original. Apart from that, Josh Turner’s work simply paid out: the song feels so modern, so powerful. Vern Gosdin created a classic, Josh Turner turned it to a timeless one. Ain’t that about the best you can say in an album like this?
6. Alone And Forsaken (feat. Allison Moorer)
The album gets a much darker touch, when Turnier and Allison Moorer interpret this Hank Williams song. What a great atmosphere in this song. Impressive!
7. Forever And Ever, Amen (feat. Randy Travis)
At that seventh track, Turner is back in the “Let’s invite the original artist” mode. So cool to have a song with the legendary Randy Travis. The version, however, feels very Josh Turner-alike.
8. Midnight In Montgomery
Wow. The Alan Jackson story is already a great one – but Josh Turner makes it more epic to me. The arrangement is deep, very atmospheric, just scattered, very wisely chosen instrumental accents like the electric guitars towards the beginning of the chorus. One of the strongest ones of Country State Of Mind to me.
9. Good Ol’ Boys (Theme From The Dukes of Hazzard)
The original is a 1980 song by Waylon Jennings. The sound of Josh Turner’s way to do it is very classic and still feels like a fresher, but very traditional song. Nice one.
10. You Don’t Seem To Miss Me (feat. Runaway June)
Girl Power! For this George Jones tune, Turner went for Runaway June female support. There is quite a lot vocal collaboration, which I absolutely appeciate. Bad luck that the interpretation as such is not my favorite one on the album.
11. Desperately (feat. Maddie & Tae)
There is always a second try. For the following collaboration with Women Country artists, Josh Turner went for Maddie & Tae and a re-interpretation of the 2003 George Strait song. I was really looking forward to that one – but I feel that the George Strait original is simply better.
12. The Caretaker
What could be a better ending than going for a Johnny Cash song at the end of the album. This interpretation of the 1959 song is definitely very characteristic for the whole album: you feel how careful Turner is touching the original, not trying to revolutionize the sound of it, just pushing it very slighly to today’s times. At The Caretaker, this works out maybe best on the whole album.
Josh Turner – Country State of Mind – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget for Country State Of Mind:
Josh Turner – Country State of Mind – My View
Country State of Mind feels a bit like a difficult heart surgery to me: if you do the cut too hard, the original sound might be changed too much and the intention of Josh Turner to praise the classics is a fail. In one or two songs, the patient on the surgical table might have a bit of too strong bleedings – but overall, the staff around Turner will finally say “Very well done, great job!”. The original soul lives on on the one hand, on the other, the songs are more modern now and might persuade younger listeners that these classics are not that old fashioned and full of dust of the times. After the heart bypass by Doc Turner, the songs will live on in a more agile way. There is no music-medical medal at Flyctory – I simply call it a Top Pick!