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Josh Turner

Live at the Ryman – 2007 (Cracker Barrel)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Josh Turner

Josh Turner burst on the scene in 2003 with "Long Black Train," showcasing his big baritone voice, pushing traditional country music when others went pop. After two albums, he now surfaces with a live disc at the mother church of country.

The disc consists almost equally of songs from each of the first two releases. Turner adopts a laid back style ("She'll Go On You" and Don Williams' "Lord Have Mercy on a Country Boy") at the outset, a bit too much.

But that changes as the show continues where his full voice is well-suited to the material he either wrote or chose. That is evident on his take of Merle Haggard's "Silver Wings" and picks it up on "Backwoods Boy." Turner also deserves credit for covering other country stalwarts like Williams ("I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive," the first time Turner performed it in concert) and Jones (a heartfelt "He Stopped Loving Her Today").

This wasn't the complete concert because songs like "Me And God," "Your Man" and "Would You Go With Me" are all inexplicably left off. Maybe this wasn't the perfect Turner disc, but Turner sings well, knows his roots and isn't afraid to show them.