Wouldn’t you love to be sitting on the front porch of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and find yourself one rocking chair over from the baritone-voiced, handsome-as-can-be Josh Turner? While that is possible (his tour bus rolls into to Cracker Barrel regularly), we have the next best thing: “Josh Turner — Live Across America,” a new 12-track album available exclusively at everyone’s favorite meat and three eatery.
The album features Turner–who has become a mainstay on the country charts with an impressive list of hits (“Long Black Train,” “Firecracker,” and “Time is Love” are some of this fans personal favs) that’s made up of gospel music, sultry ballads and upbeat tunes–performing in some of his favorite venues across the country including Southern cities Knoxville, Savannah, Biloxi, and Austin.
In celebration of the new album, we chatted with Josh about his South Carolina roots, the Southern lessons he is teaching his sons, and, of course, his favorite meal at Cracker Barrel. (Feel free to imagine that deep voice of his as your read the responses!)
Who do you consider the greatest country crooner?
Randy Travis, hands-down. I have always looked up to him. When I first began singing he was the person I tried to emulate.
What country star–past or present–would you love to do a duet with?
He passed away before my career got started, but I would have loved the opportunity to sing with Johnny Cash.
“Time is Love” has been a big hit for you this year. How do you love to spend your time?
My time away from work is all about family. The boys and I fish, ride four wheelers and go eat Mexican food. Then, if there’s any time left for just me, I always try to lift weights.
What’s the best thing your mama taught you?
Treat people with respect. That has been good life advice, especially as my career has taken off. I come in contact with all different kinds of people and lives while I’m on tour. Thanks to Mama I know the importance of treating each of them with respect.
What Southern traits do you plan to pass down to your three sons?
I want to teach them the little things like saying “breakfast, dinner, and supper” instead of “breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” And using “Mama and Daddy” instead of “Mom and Dad.” It may sound silly, but I want to make sure my boys (Hampton, Age 5, Colby, Age 3 and Marion, Age 1) learn those simple things.
What’s your favorite Southern expression?
There are a lot of good ones out there, but I would have to say my favorite is “I suwanee.” My daddy has his own version of it–“I swigger.” Still haven’t figured out where or how he came up with that.
What’s your favorite spot in the South?
My hometown of Hannah, South Carolina. I’ve traveled all over the country but have still never found anywhere with food as good as the home cookin’ you’ll find there.
What’s your favorite dish on the menu at Cracker Barrel?
That would be a toss-up between Country Fried Steak or Hamburger Steak, with collard greens on the side for both. I’ll also throw the Grilled Chicken on the list since these days I’m trying to eat healthy.
Have any tips for beating that triangle golf tee game there?
I have beaten it several times. I actually have the solution written out. But I intentionally didn’t memorize it. Knowing the formula takes all the fun out!