Josh Turner charms in Cohasset

A review of Josh Turner at the South Shore Music Circus on July 15, 2012

, Contributing Writer

Country artist Josh Turner has made a career with his distinct baritone voice and southern charm. A intimate venue like the South Shore Music Circus doesn’t need much more for an entertaining show. When the two collided Sunday for Turner’s “Punching Bag” tour, the result was a fun evening of country music.

Turner started the show with “Punching Bag”, the title track off his new album. It was the first of just two new songs he’d perform with “Good Problems” making the setlist later in the night. He followed with smash hit “Your Man” and summertime favorite “All Over You”, which got the crowd singing early.

It took a bit of time for the show to pick up an exciting pace. Thumping numbers like “As Fast As I Could” and “Haywire” helped, but it wasn’t until midway through with the dramatic beginning of “Long Black Train” that the audience stood to dance. After a clumsy break to plug show sponsor Cracker Barrel, the audience remained up for Turner’s recent single “Time is Love”.

Despite the slow start, there were a few early standouts including a charming run through “I Wouldn’t Be a Man”. It also gave Turner’s backing band, which featured his wife Jennifer Turner on keyboard, a few opportunities to shine. Fiddler Eamon McLoughlin’s solos on “All Over Me” and “Eye Candy” quickly stole the show. During nostalgia-filled “Everything is Fine”, McLoughlin and lead guitarist Derek Wells jammed together nicely.

Of course, Turner is best when showcasing his stellar vocals. “Firecracker” was a prime example of of this, as was “Me and God” which was reminiscent of Randy Travis. Performances of older songs like “Another Try” and “Would You Go With Me” proved to be Turner’s sweet spot, and were well received by the crowd.

Closing the main set with a cover of George Jones’ “I’m A One Woman Man”, the tent went dark for a minute before the band launched into the a single song encore of 2009 hit “Why Don’t We Just Dance”. Before the lights turned on and the band played the first chords, the crowd went crazy, releasing the dynamic energy missing from earlier parts of the concert.

Massachusetts native Ayla Brown opened with a solo acoustic set.

1.  Punching Bag
2.  Your Man
3.  All Over Me
4.  As Fast As I Could
5.  Haywire
6.  I Wouldn’t Be a Man
7.  Eye Candy
8.  Long Black Train
9.  Time Is Love
10. Another Try
11. Firecracker
12. Me and God
13. Would You Go With Me
14. Good Problems
15. Everything is Fine
16. I’m A One Woman Man
17. Why Don’t We Just Dance

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