by Lisa Kiser
Featuring Josh Turner and Jake Owen
Yee-haw! As I rolled my pickup into the Jackson County Fairgrounds, I was alive with anticipation about an evening of sweet country tunes at the county fair. I had no right to be so giddy; having seen Turner on two other occasions, but somehow the prospect of hearing him again – with Jake Owen – had me walking on air. After consuming my weight and then some in fried deliciousness, we headed to the grandstand to prepare for the sounds of Jake Owen. Mr. Owen is indeed a fun performer and quite a clever lyricist. It was scary how his descriptions of silly misadventures hit so close to home, more than once. The barefoot boy strummed and sang up a good show; his playful poems are a perfect complement to Turner’s soulful lullabies. I must give a nod to his drummer, as well, because he rocked it out for sure. Trust me, if I’m even paying attention to a drummer when Jake Owen is singing, you know they’re good. As night fell, it became time for the main event, South Carolina native Josh Turner. Turner was especially in his element that evening. He played a hearty selection off his most recent album, “Everything is Fine” as well as oldie but goodies from the past. Fittingly, as he was taking a breather to introduce the band and share a story or two, a train whistle blew and its light shined forth, much to the crowd’s delight. (A Long, Black Train, if you will) The moonlight and soft glow of carnival-ness was the perfect backdrop to Turner’s stage, and you couldn’t help but feel aglow in his midst. His deep voice is just as perfect in concert as it is on the radio; it’s soothing and relaxing. I liked the combination of Owen and Turner; their angles and sounds give a different feel, but they are both great in their own right. You end up getting a smorgasbord of wonderfulness, and seeing either one live is something I would have to highly recommend.