New country recordings from Josh Turner, Little Big Town

by Alison Bonaguro

Special to the Tribune
Published in the Chicago Tribune on October 21, 2007


Josh Turner

"Everything is Fine" (MCA Nashville)

Known for his rich baritone, Turner makes a few new stops along the vocal range on his third album. On the ballad "Another Try" with Trisha Yearwood, he soars to a fresh falsetto. The hook ("If love ever gives me another try") should make this one an instant favorite. And on "Nowhere Fast," a duet with R&B singer Anthony Hamilton, Turner turns up the earthy soul. The rest is solid Nashville, with traditional instruments and all the requisite God-fearing redneck lyrics: "Trailer Hood," with its reference to moonshine, and "The Way He Was Raised," about the hand of God. These are all good reasons why Turner is being inducted into Nashville's Grand Ole Opry.

Little Big Town

"A Place to Land" (Equity Music Group)

If you're new to country music, Little Big Town is a good place to start. They're very Fleetwood Mac, just with more of a down-home acoustic groove. As a vocal group, the quartet takes turns on the lead, and still allows ample room for four-part harmonies. Lyrically, they don't cover much new territory. But a few songs stand out for their folksy story telling, such as "I'm With the Band," which reveals a camaraderie you don't usually hear about in life-on-the-road stories. Another tune, "Novocaine," is more of a bluesy rocker than the others. And the title track presents a familiar tale of making mistakes but with a sweeter hook: "I never had any trouble fallin', I'm just tryin' to find a place to land."

---------- ctc-tempo@tribune.com Copyright 2007, Chicago Tribune

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