Country Music Roundup: Josh Turner is finally releasing a new album

This Week’s News

Hey, look at that! We’re going to get some new Josh Turner music this year. After languishing in record deal purgatory since 2012, Turner announced Jan. 27 that his new album “Deep South” will be released by MCA Nashville on March 10.

Josh Turner headlines the WIRK Rib Round Up Saturday at Cruzan Amphitheatre. Source: UMG Nashville.

Josh Turner. Source: UMG Nashville.

Ever since his last full-length album “Punching Bag” was released in 2012, Turner has teased new music and has said he had an album ready, but that MCA Nashville was holding up the release.

“If it were up to me, I would have had an album out in 2013,” the deep baritone singer told the Albuquerque Journal in 2015. “There have been a lot of business issues that have popped up and I’m just pushing forward. The new music is there and I want to get it out to my fans.”

Turner has released two singles so far from the album, “Lay Low” and “Hometown Girl,” neither of which got much traction on the radio. My suspicion is that those songs stalled out because MCA Nashville was trying to get Turner to do songs that didn’t really fit into his oeuvre, which is a move they also pulled on Turner labelmate Gary Allan. Allan also has an album that’s been in development at MCA Nashville since 2013, and has also released atypical radio singles in an effort to revitalize his image. Those singles have also stalled at radio. If this is the year Turner can get his album released, maybe there’s hope for Allan as well.

This Week’s Best New Song

There aren’t a lot of great duets nowadays in country music. Sure, there’s duos and trio groups, and there’s lots of songs where one artist is featured on another artist’s songs, but there’s practically nothing on mainstream country that features both voices prominently. One couple who perfected the art of the duet, though: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

From “It’s Your Love” to “Angry All the Time” to “Let’s Make Love” to “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s,” the country couple has consistently proven their ability to make great songs together. “Keep Your Eyes on Me,” a song commissioned for the upcoming Christian film “The Shack,” is no different. It sounds more like contemporary Christian worship music than country, but it sounds better than most contemporary Christian music I’ve heard recently. And if you aren’t a Christian, the lyrics are veiled enough that the titular “me” could apply to anyone.

This Week’s Worst New Song

What in the holy lazy hell, Sam Hunt. First you get all confessional on us and unleash some low-rent Drake music. Then you follow that up with a promise that your upcoming sophomore album will be full of “more vulnerable and honest songs.” Sure, fine. But the new, “vulnerable and honest” song you chose to release next is called “Body Like a Back Road,” which was surely cooked up in some A&R executive’s office with the thought that it would be a light-hearted romp about curvy women. But look, back roads are dirty, bumpy, windy, full of gravel, often under construction and in flood planes. Sure that’s the best metaphor you want to go with?

This Week’s Best Country Show in Austin

halketchum

Hal Ketchum comes to One World Theatre Friday at 7 p.m. Probably most famous for “Small Town Saturday Night,” he got his start at Gruene Hall in 1981 and has since become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, sold millions of albums and put out his latest album in 2014. Tickets can be bought here.

This is the Country Music Roundup, a weekly blog where we’ll give you the latest news in country music releases and local country shows. For a more in-depth analysis of the genre and where it’s headed, check back with our weekly Gone Country blog every week.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know on Twitter @jakeharris4 or by email: jharris@statesman.com.


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