The long wait for a new album for fans of country music mainstream traditionalist Josh Turner is finally over. Josh Turner’s label MCA Nashville will release his latest album and sixth overall called Deep South on March 10th. It has been nearly five years since Turner released a record—2012’s Punching Bag—and he’s been outspoken about frustrations with getting new music out to people in the past.
“I’m really proud of this album,” says Turner. “It was really important for me to expand creatively and explore in new ways for this record. The way I pick songs is different now. There are so many things in my life and career that have matured me as an artist.”
Josh Turner released what was supposed to be the debut single from a new album called “Lay Low” way back on September 15th, 2014. The single stalled at #25 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, and this is likely where the seeds were sewn in the delay. Sometimes major labels expect a hit single before releasing the new album.
On November 3rd of 2014, Josh Turner held a private event for select press and industry personnel at the SoundCheck rehearsal space in Nashville to preview a new record—a regular occurrence as part of the run up to a major label release. Turner played numerous songs from the unnamed album at the time, including a song written by Craig Wisemen called “Bench Seat,” a ballad called “Wonder,” and a potential radio single called “Where The Girls Are.” Two of those three songs have made it onto the track list of Deep South, along with the original “Lay Low” single.
Though metadata readings from distributors had Josh Turner’s new album originally headed to market on March 31st, 2015, March 31st came and went, and no official announcement was ever made, and no album ever arrived. This started an even longer delay in which numerous MCA Nashville artists, including David Nail and Gary Allan were also waiting for some movement on new releases.
On numerous occasions, Turner began speaking out to the press about the delay, including in December 2015 when he spoke to the Albuquerque Journal saying, “If it were up to me, I would have had an album out in 2013. 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 … The fans have been pretty anxious. Then I have to remind them that this is a business and there are a lot of things that I can’t control.”
Finally in May of 2016, a new Josh Turner single emerged in the form of “Hometown Girl.” Once again the song has remained outside of the Top 20 so far, but MCA Nashville has finally decided to grant Turner a new album release. Turner says the album “represents hardworking people who find joy in the simple things in life; heritage, church, community, high school sports, being outdoors. It is a culture.”
Some may see the palm tree and crescent moon in the ‘O’ of Josh’s name on the album cover, and track names like “Beach Bums” and “Hawaiian Girl” and worry we may hear something more indicative of Kenny Chesney than Josh Turner circa 2012, but time will tell. A snippet from the title track released with the album announcement that goes, “I’m from the deep South, let me take you there. Screaming down a back road like we don’t care…” probably doesn’t offer much reassurance to Turner’s traditional fans either. But many of Josh Turner’s long-time followers are just happy the wait for new music is finally over.
Deep South Track List:
1. Deep South
2. All About You
3. Hometown Girl
4. Beach Bums
5. Southern Drawl
6. Where The Girls Are
7. Never Had A Reason
9. One Like Mine
10. Lay Low
11. Hawaiian Girl