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Josh Turner Credits Ricky Skaggs, John Anderson + God For Songs on ‘Punching Bag’

Josh Turner didn’t plan on creating his most traditional album to date. It just sort of happened. The singer recently told Taste of Country that there was no agenda when he began recording, but the men he worked with ultimately shaped his fifth studio album. And of course, the Big Man had his say.

“I’ve learned to trust God in ways that I’ve never considered,” Turner says via email, “because I believe that God is in control of everything so even if he asks me to go against the grain on something I do it and don’t question it really. He will always make a way and He always has my best interests at heart.”

The title-track was the result of one bad day at work. Turner says he isn’t always a ‘Punching Bag,’ but anyone who works in a similar high-profile industry can feel like that at times. Other songs on the album were heavily influenced by Ricky Skaggs’ solo album. The famous bluegrass player joins Turner on ‘For the Love of God.’

“It was a dream come true to have Ricky playing and singing on this song. Seeing and hearing him play cello banjo in person was quite the experience. I told him it was my voice in instrument form!!”

While John Anderson didn’t land any cuts on the trimmed-down, final edition of ‘Punching Bag’ (available now), Turner says that writing with the country legend also helped shape the sound. His family’s influence can be felt as well, most notably on ‘Find Me a Baby’ in which his boys sing along.

According to his website, Turner hits the road again on Friday, continuing a schedule of mostly fair and festival dates that goes deep into the summer. As usual, his family will be on board — wife Jennifer sings backup in his band. Turner is always humble, so while he’s proud of ‘Punching Bag’ he wouldn’t call it his best ever.

“It’s the best album I’ve cut in 2012. Ha!”

See the Best Albums of 2012

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