Josh Turner's relationship with Cracker Barrel stretches far beyond a love of chicken & dumplings and sweet tea. The country store/restaurant sponsored his 2012 tour and previously has released a live concert recorded at the Ryman Auditorium. Turner's latest release for Cracker Barrel features songs from his latest tour, recorded at 12 different stops along the way.
While live releases seldom compare well to studio albums, Turner has a crack band that can match the abilities of the musicians who made Long Black Train and All Over Me so enjoyable in the first place. Others, like Me And God, are given a more stripped-down treatment.
Turner sounds as good as ever while performing his hits, particularly on the fun Firecracker and the touching Your Man. Also included is a cover of Waylon Jennings' America, which is a natural fit for his voice. While the album is very light on interaction with the audience or between-song banter, Turner can engage a crowd and turns Long Black Train into a singalong.
Judging by the screams from the fans, Turner knows how to leave an audience satisfied yet still wanting more. For people who attended any of these shows, "Live Across America" is a good souvenir. For the fans who couldn't make it to his shows in Atlanta, Kansas City, Biloxi, Miss. or any of the other cities where this album was recorded, it will serve nicely as the next best thing.