|JOE LYNN TURNER
Mother's Army, Hurry Up And Wait
On his own - with Todd Smith
A sound, a singer, a song, three separate entities that when combined can create magic and freeze time. New Jersey’s own Joe Lynn Turner has such a hold on many of rock’s shining moments. From his earliest days fronting Fandango, through Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen and Deep Purple and on to a prosperous solo adventure, Turner’s voice has endured the fragile balance of FM radio. His talents extend well beyond his soulful crooning as he continues to astonish and mesmerize. As a songwriter, Turner’s name has appeared on albums for Cher, Michael Bolton, Mick Jones and The Law. An impressive standard for a career that spans twenty-five years.
Lately Turner has been keeping himself busy with a cluster of demanding projects. Last year he recorded three albums with three different bands, guested on a number of others and still actively pursues voice work in jingles and commercial ads. It was an honor to sit for a few minutes in “Joe’s kitchen” and discuss all that the future holds for one of the world’s astounding rock vocalists. “After last year’s Undercover record, (a CD with some of Turner’s favorite songs sung his way) I went to work on Brazen Abbot’s second album, Eye Of The Storm then Jeff Watson (Night Ranger) called wanting to do the next Mother’s Army.” And a quite a gem it turned out to be!
Titled, Fire On The Moon the combination of Turner, Watson, Bob Daisley and Aynsley Dunbar hits the nail on the head. The record is tough, heavy and very well crafted. The lyrics embrace the rhythm, Into the mystery of my soul I find/ Answers I never had before. “We were all up for this one,” confesses Turner as he goes through the CD track by track. “This is where we’ve been wanting to go with this band all along!”
Taking only a few months off, Turner quickly returned to the studio to cut his fourth solo record, Hurry Up And Wait. Surrounding himself with ace players including Al Pitrelli, Tony Bruno, Greg Smith, Paul Morris, and Kenny Kramme, Turner delivers an exceptionally powerful performance. We Will Survive leads the pack of the eleven trademark numbers. Like Mother’s Army, every track is a winner, no puddles of mud to jump over here. Turner’s R&B influence resonates in the wall of horns which link thick riffs with melodic hooks in tasteful harmony. Sex and Money, Sentimental and Guilty Heart showcase the singer in peak form. But it is Blueprint For The Blues that lifts the record to another level. A monster cut, this one leaves us wondering why Turner hasn’t cut an entire album full of blues grinders. Ritchie Blackmore said of the singer, “the blues are really his forte.” Here is proof.
A must mention is Turner’s appearance on Stuart Smith’s Heaven and Earth. “Out of fire comes steel, out of chaos comes order,” tells Turner, and out of his union with Smith is brilliance. His voice works powerfully well around Smith’s guitar. The two also illuminate Windham Hill’s Sounds of Wood & Steel with the delicate Alma D’ Alma, one of the few recordings highlighting Turner’s craft on acoustic guitar.