Josh Turner’s agent sent me his new book ‘Man Stuff’ right as I was leaving for a business trip to Las Vegas, so of course I packed the book with me. Josh Turner is not known for his book-writing skills and in fact this is his first published book.
He is better known for being a doubleplatinum singer-songwriter and one of the youngest members of the Grand Ole Opry.
In his life and in his book Turner is straight-forward with his Christian beliefs and values, feelings on family and his love of traditional country music. I read almost the entire book on my aeroplane trip since the chapters were short and concise and each one opens with a scripture from the Bible.
The forward was written by Jase Robertson, from the popular TV show ‘Duck Dynasty’, and from what Jase wrote they are obviously kindred spirits and good friends (although Turner’s beard is not up to ‘Duck Dynasty’ a song all its own, which some of them may be one day?
I enjoy books by musicians like this as it lets us view behind the curtain to see who they really are not just a big persona that we see at a concert or on TV or even hear on the radio, but real people like you and me that have had good times and bad times but through it all maintained a love of music. Josh Turner has a very deep rich voice and though the chapters in the book are short and to the point they are also rich in the words he chose and the encouragement they provide.
As I was reading the chapters I could picture Turner writing them while he was on a tour bus headed to the next concert or in a hotel after the show. It felt like he was writing the book as a road map for his sons, a reminder to himself of the path he has travelled and how he got there, and as catharsis to be able to write down what he was feeling in the past and how he feels now about all he loves. It almost read like poetry; each chapter could be
standards). The common themes I found throughout the book were Josh’s faith, family, a great sense of humour and music. In some of the chapters he is boldly honest like when he tells of using someone else’s fish for a photo shoot when the one he caught was too small and how guilty he felt doing that. He tells of times he rebelled against his parents and the lessons he learned from this.
Even on the back cover of ‘Man Stuff’ it states: ‘Each (chapter) can be read in the time it takes to drink a morning cup of coffee.’ But like a good country song sometimes it isn’t the number of words that are sung, but the meaning the words convey and the spaces in between them. Although I have already promised to loan this book to my mother in law, I will probably read it again when she returns it. As a father and a musician myself. Josh strikes some resonant chords with my own life and the future I seek for my daughter just like he does for his three sons! I hope Josh Turner’s new book Man Stuff’ does as well as his hit country songs – it is certainly thought-provoking. Eric Dahl