Josh Turner on First Faith-Based Set, 'I Serve a Savior': 'It Was My Time and, More Importantly, God's Time'


"This album has all the time been on my checklist of issues to do," the nation veteran says.

Longtime nation star Josh Turner has rolled up seven prime 10s on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, together with 4 No. 1s. He's additionally banked three No. 1s amongst seven prime 10s on Top Country Albums, most just lately Deep South in April 2017. But he's heading into new territory together with his first faith-based album, I Serve a Savior, launched final Friday (Oct. 26).

Although Savior is his first full-fledged Christian launch, Turner is not any stranger to music that's supposed to serve the next energy. An up to date recording of his first prime 15 Hot Country Songs hit, the haunting "Long Black Train," from 2004, which Turner penned solo, is included on the brand new undertaking, as is 2007's "Me and God."

The bulk of the set options acquainted hymns that Turner would sing again within the days of his youth whereas rising up in South Carolina, together with "I Saw the Light," which was written by Hank Williams Sr., "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art." One observe, "The River (Of Happiness)," was written by Turner's spouse Jennifer and eldest son Hampton. It was recorded by the whole Turner household, together with Jennifer and all 4 of their sons.

On the morning of Savior's launch, Blackbird Studio in Nashville was bustling with exercise, publicists, administration sorts and the like. In a quiet room off to the facet, Turner sat down with Billboard to talk in regards to the album, touring and the way he balances a profession and household.

So, what led to the Savior album changing into a actuality?

Honestly, it has been on my thoughts to do this type of document for a very long time. When followers would ask me after I would do a faith-based album, my inventory reply was all the time like, "It's on my checklist of issues to do," and usually I'd say precisely that. Thing is that I didn't have a stable plan to go after it. As a Christian, from an early age, , God referred to as me to be a rustic singer. That's all the time been my calling and the place my coronary heart is. So, till this level my precedence has been to ascertain myself as a rustic artist.

And you've clearly performed that.

Yeah, I really feel like I've, and I do know that I nonetheless have much more to do within the nation style and that realm. But I felt like this was a great time, coming off the heels of a No. 1 album [Deep South] I felt like …

Like that was a great pivot level to pursue this?

Exactly. I felt prefer it was my time and extra importantly, that it was God's time. Honestly, all the pieces simply sort of fell into place like I needed to, and a variety of particulars that I by no means noticed coming additionally fell into place. This complete course of from begin to end, I imply it's the quickest that I've ever recorded an album. It's truly flown by and has been a very nice expertise thus far.

Tell me in regards to the content material on Savior, the basic hymns that you simply determined to document, together with a few your previous hits. You've recognized a variety of the hymns that you simply included right here, because you have been a child, appropriate?

Yeah, the one track that I needed to have on this document was "Without Him," which was written by Mylon LeFevre. I've truly come to know Mylon within the final 4 years or so.

Anyways, I bought to know the track after I was in highschool, after I was singing with a gospel quartet that I had began, and it was one of many songs in our repertoire. Of course, I keep in mind a variety of different songs, however that is the one that actually spoke to me. It simply had a very clear black-and-white message that actually hit me. Plus, it was simple to sing and had an awesome melody. It's a hymn that has all the time introduced me a variety of peace, so I needed to have it on this document.

What in regards to the different tracks?

Beyond that, "Amazing Grace" and the opposite hymns I felt would join with a variety of gospel music followers and fellow Christians on the market. After I knew a few of these songs wanted to be on the document, I began looking elsewhere and began trying to see if there have been songs from one or two of my favourite nation artists that I needed to do, which might even be applicable for this document.

The first one which got here to thoughts was Hank Williams' "I Saw the Light." So, when it got here time to document it, I first listened to each model of it that I may discover. Not to criticize the opposite variations, they're nice in their very own methods, however to me there was one thing lacking that hadn't been performed, but wanted to be expressed. So one evening, I'm mendacity in mattress and, abruptly, it simply hit me that for the singer on this track to see the sunshine, they'd have needed to gone by some darkness first. I wanted to faucet into that factor.

Well, Hank definitely had his share of darkness.

He did. And, I really like Hank's unique model, however I really feel like everybody had been making an attempt to emulate what Hank had performed. So that evening I truly jumped off the bed, grabbed my guitar and my cellphone. Everyone else in the home was sleeping and I'm making an attempt to be actually quiet, which I believe helped me faucet into that lacking issue and the vibe of this track. After that, when interested by extra songs so as to add, I thought of "I Serve a Savior," which I wrote a few years in the past and thought, "Man, this could be good for this album." As issues progressed, I additionally needed it for the album title.

How way back did you write "Savior?"


Wow, a few years in the past. So have been you writing again then, with the intention of constructing a Christian document?

No, I truthfully had no thought. The considered doing this album hadn't even come to me but, and I used to be nonetheless engaged on my Deep South album on the time. When it got here time to truly document "Savior," I needed it to really feel new, but in addition have the texture of an old-time hymn as properly.

Production-wise, are you able to clarify to followers what the distinction is sonically between recording this album and a mainstream nation document?

That's a loaded query. [Laughs.] Well, in in the present day's mainstream nation there's not a ton of the acoustic devices that I'm sort of recognized for: metal guitar, Dobro, fiddle. We have been free to make use of that sound in recording Savior, for positive. But even after I do my trendy nation materials, I'm making an attempt to go for an updated sound, whereas not shedding that sense of traditionalism.

But admittedly, it's all the time been a problem for me to suit into what's happening within the now. I really feel like I can do it, nevertheless, making music that sounds contemporary whereas nonetheless holding onto my very own explicit fashion. "Time Is Love" [a No. 2 hit from 2012] is a good instance of a contemporary, current-sounding track that additionally had acoustic guitar and mandolin throughout it. It was a great mesh of kinds of what I do personally and what's being performed on nation radio.

Same, with "Hometown Girl" [No. 5, 2017], which is without doubt one of the extra modern, progressive songs that I've ever performed. Yet, it nonetheless has that nation lyric, it's telling a narrative, it's bought my voice, metal guitar, but it sounds fairly contemporary in my view.

What in regards to the new album? What sort of explicit sound have been you striving for?

You know, so far as this album goes, for me, after I went into this I wasn't essentially pondering a lot that this has to sound gospel. It was extra that I've to specific my beliefs, by the use of this music, in my very own distinctive method.

Will there be a single off of this album?

I actually do not know [Laughs.] I haven't had that dialogue but.

Are you going to tour behind this album?

Not particularly, however I've already began mixing among the new tracks in throughout my reside units and so they're going over very well thus far.

You've been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for a very long time. In truth I heard that you simply just lately made your 150th look. Congrats, and what was that like?

Surreal, truthfully. I had no concept that they even saved observe of that sort of stuff … 150 performances, that's truly laborious to wrap my mind round.

You've bought an enormous household: 4 boys and your spouse Jennifer. How do you juggle profession and household?

When I determine it out, I'll let .

What would you want your followers to remove from the I Serve a Savior album?

I need them to really feel some hope and pleasure that possibly they've by no means skilled earlier than, even when they don't perceive the place it's coming from precisely. I'd love for them to hunt out that reality, and I'm assured that once they do hunt down that reality, that they'll discover Jesus.