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We’ve all heard about the allure of bad boys. But what about the good boys? Sometimes they can be just as appealing.

Take Hannah, S.C., native, Josh Turner. He’s a tall, dark, handsome guy with a killer smile and a smoldering poker-faced look. Though he’s got the deepest baritone you’ve yet heard from a 25-year-old singer, he only uses it when he sings. When he speaks, it’s in mostly soft and entirely polite tones.

This "good boy" isn’t clean cut in a sickening way. Josh’s image comes from the splash he made this year in the country music world with his self-penned, morally strong song, "Long Black Train".

Josh remembers the especially dark night when he was walking home, and became inspired to write the tune. "I got this vision of a wide open space, out on the plains," says Josh. "There was a train running out in the middle of nowhere and people were standing beside the tracks, just watching it go by. I was thinking, ‘What does this mean?’ It dawned on me that the train was a physical metaphor for temptation."

Josh, who calls himself "a strong Christian," knew this song was one-of-a-kind, but he had no idea how it would explode on country radio. On the strength of this song, which eventually became the second-best selling CD single in the country for five consecutive weeks, Josh’s debut album, also called Long Black Train, quickly went gold.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for Josh, who (sorry girls) got married earlier this year, is living up to the comparisons to Randy Travis and Johnny Cash that his incredibly rich voice inspires. "Any time you’re compared to your heroes it’s a good thing," Josh says. "But I don’t want people to think I’m trying to be like them. Those are huge boots to fill."

Nonetheless, Josh remains inspired by his idols and their idealistic messages. "People need hope no matter how far down they are," Josh says. "I know with Johnny Cash, there was always a hopeful spirit, even if it’s just in his voice. You look at his life and everything he’d been through. He was raised the right way, but he got sidetracked by a lot of things. But he never failed to come back to God and what he knew was right."

Who says good boys finish last?

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 38 - September 2018
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