•  Recording Artist  •  Musician  •  Songwriter  •  Touring Artist & Performer  •

 

 

Reviews

Over the Horizon


Before we begin our review, I will go on record saying that Joe Turley has become one of my favorite artists due to his extraordinary talent and passion for music.
 
"Over The Horizon" is a special sound, an artful sound, a soulful sound, its rock, its blues, its country and a little bit of jazz thrown in as a blues based tone. Joe Turley has successfully taken all these sounds, put them in one neat package and put together the most enjoyable 11 tracks you will ever hear. Vocally powerful with great orchestration is a combination difficult to ignore. Ok, lets break this down a little more. None of the above genres are in their true form but the mere suggestion of them gives this wonderful cd a feel that you may never experience again with music. Listening to this cd in its entirety, you will feel good about the 42 minutes 55 seconds you spent listening. Besides the extraordinary talent of Joe Turley is the incredible musicianship of Moose Harrell (Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Slide and Lap Steel), Rich Redmond (Drums and Percussion), Ron de la Vega (Bass), Johnny Neal (B-3 Organ) and the stunning background vocals of Marie Turley, Vickie Carrico, Leslie Boldt.  Also included with additional contributions to the sound of Joe Turley is Jeff Silbar (Acoustic Guitar) and Mike Loudermilk (Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Gut String, High String and Baritone Guitars). Besides the great sounds these gifted musicians display, the lyrical quality of Joe Turley's songs are some of the best. "Pressin' On, Jade, Soul Survivor, You Make Me Believe" are lyrics that everyone can relate to and the somewhat retro sound of "Real Thing" brings you back to when lyrics and high-energy music not only gave the listener a "relate point" but an excitement of the song in its total form. If you haven't heard the songs of "Over The Horizon", you will be in for a real treat. If you have, then you know what I'm talking about.

-Bert Gagnon, Musictogousa.com


Joe Turley is a veteran player and producer. Joe is also a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, harmonica, piano and sax). Turley has had his fair share of ups and downs on the music road but highlights include working with top talent Dolly Parton and Waylon Jennings. Joe is currently focusing on solo projects and Over The Horizon is his second release featuring a first rate band. Joe's eleven track CD spans a diverse range of styles with a heavy dose of the blues. Songs are sultry to spiritual enhanced by Joe's gravely, soulful vocals. The instrumentation throughout is rock solid with plenty of singular solos. 'Ride With Me' is hot with it sizzling guitars, sassy sax and smoky vocal exchanges. 'Pressin' On' starts off subtle with gentle guitars, keys and a tambourine rhythm. The song then kicks into high gear with its powerful hook and then alternates between the two distinct tempos. 'No Stranger To The Blues' is a heavy blues tune about Jesus and troubles. Turley sings from the heart and the instrumental accents, especially the guitar solos, add to the emotion of the tune.
Joe Turley is a passionate, professional artist and his second solo release is potent! Recommended Tracks: (2,7,9)

- Laura Turner Lynch for Kweevak.com


“The only thing wrong with Joe Turley's new cd, is that not everyone has it! The songwriting, vocals, musicianship, arranging, everything is just the best I've heard in years! It's very tight, and I love it over & over again."

- Patty Yagtu, Rock Solid Pressure


One great track after another!!

This second of Joe's albums is just awesome! From the first track to the last it's just wonderful music! I especially loved the first track You Make Believe, Ride With Me, the soulful Turn To Me, and Jade. Other favorites include the Memphis Blues style of Anywhere But Where I Am, the very upbeat theme of Pressin' On, and the deep Gospel/Blues sound of No Stranger To The Blues. Read more of my review on Joe's page at my site. If you are a fan of Jazz and Blues you will LOVE this album!

-Doug Morris, Indie Music Appreciation Group


Hot damn! Here's a rollicking, guitars full forward, harmonica and big backing vocal rock record. Fronted by Nashville veteran Joe Turley -- whose Keith Richards voice is a joy to behold -- Over the Horizon is concrete-solid proof that country may pay Nashville's bills, but rock and roll is how it has its fun.

My favorite song on the record was "Pressin' On," with its Spanish guitar opening that quickly unfolds into a good old-fashioned rocker, complete with Motown-style backup vocals and twang bar attack after attack.

"Over The Horizon" - There are a total of 11 tracks on the disc, all written or co-written by Joe Turley. Joe not only does the lead vocals, but also plays the piano, keyboards, alto & tenor sax, some of the guitar parts, and some of the best harmonica music around! He is backed by a band of excellent musicians who produce some great music and some back up vocals provided by three ladies, including his wife Marie! It's a Jazz album, it's a Blues album, it's a Rock album; call it whatever genre name you want, the simple fact is that this is a really great album!! I don't understand why he hasn't been signed to a major label yet, but listening to this music will tell you why he's known as "Ivory" Joe Turley; it's 'cause he's got jazz and blues in his blood!

"You Make Me Believe" is a fantastic piece of music! It's not just a toe-tapper; it'll ROCK your socks off! From the way it opens with a simple little thing going between an organ, guitar & some light percussion, and then BLAM, you get a loud solid drum beat, a driving bass guitar, and that wailing harmonica! Next you get Joe doing a vocal with some soft lyrics and from there you can just feel the change as the music keeps growing and the intensity keeps getting deeper and higher, until he hits the chorus with the glorious phrase "You make me believe in God," complete with female voices adding some pure gospel wailing in the background and that truly soulful harmonica capturing your heart! And then the shivers start running down your spine as you realize that you're listening to a real musical experience! Folks, this song ought to be a Grammy winner!  Honestly, the first time I heard it through, all I could think to myself was, "Oh Hell YES!"

Don't get me wrong, that's not the only good music on the album. The next track is titled "Ride With Me" and it's another song that shows off just what a fine musician Joe Turley is. Not only does he sing a great vocal, not only does he show what a natural he is by adding some piano licks that exhibit perfect jazz timing, but he also blows some really good riffs on saxophone. It's a rocking song with a heavy dose of blues and jazz in it!

"Turn To Me" is more of a medium tempo ballad type song, again with an overlay of blues to it, and it again showcases Joe's expertise with his use of organ, piano, and sax. The mixing of all these parts and the addition of the backing vocals is just phenomenal!

One of my other favorite songs on this disc is the one titled "Jade." It's another ballad type that combines Joe's fine vocals, some great instrumental parts, and intuitive use of background vocals, with the result being a first class piece of music! It's a song about a girl who is really down, really depressed and feeling negative about everything even though she has a beautiful world around her.
    
 "Anywhere But Where I Am" is a blues song pure and simple. Joe's riffs on the harmonica mixed with his obvious vocal talents blend in this song in a really delightful manner making it another choice for the Favorite Indie Songs List. It has some real blues sounds to it and the lyrics sound like a prisoner wanting to be free; but free from prison or from a dreary life? Listen to the song and see what you think.

"Pressin' On" opens with a Spanish guitar and flute giving it a very Latin feel, then it really kicks into a slow rock beat. I love the lyrics and their message about not giving up, take one day at a time, and thank the Lord for every day; keep pressin' on. Yeah!

The title song, "Over The Horizon" is a song Joe dedicated to the memory of childhood friend. The lyrics are filled with personal feelings and the music feels sort of "spiritual" but it's very good

"Sometimes it's a cruel world we live in, heartache and trouble everywhere." The opening lyrics to another of my favorites on this album, "No Stranger To The Blues." Those words, combined with the bluesy phrasing of the music, tell you right away that it's another blues song. Joe wrote both words and music on this tune of woe and hope. So who's he saying is no stranger to the blues? Jesus, and if you stop and think about it, there's a lot of truth in that thought. Jesus, the Son of God, took upon His own shoulders, all of the sins and sorrows of the world and carried them with Him upon the cross. Surely He must have known the heavy heart feelings we call the Blues. I liked this one!

"Soul Survivors" is a song about a deep relationship surviving all the trials and tribulations that come in life. "Real Thing" is a very upbeat, jazzy rocker about finding real love and the happiness it brings. Both of these are very good songs.

Overall, I would rate this an excellent album for all fans of Blues and Jazz and good music! I think it shows the depth of Joe Turley's talent and the wisdom he has gained through his many years of hard labor performing before all kinds of audiences while developing his skills and his wide range of work. Yes, my parents would have both liked this album also, and it's been getting rave reviews from the folks I work with at Wal-Mart!  My congratulations Joe, you have a fine album here!

- Doug Morris, IMAG


As I listened to Joe Turley's disc, two thoughts kept coming back to me:

First, albums like Over the Horizon may not top the charts, but they have a timeless quality. I'm reminded of Van Morrison and Delbert McClinton, but I'm also thinking that this is the kind of record American Idol winner Taylor Hicks should be making.

Second, I've been reading this book about writing fiction, and the author states that a good writer doesn't necessarily have to shy away from clichés. Turley and co-writer Jeff Silbar don't break much new ground lyrically, but Turley sings with such force and passion that it doesn't matter.

Within the first two tracks of Over the Horizon, Turley and his band (which, in fact, consists of him playing about half the instruments) hit me where I live. These muscular numbers feature some of my favorite soul devices: blues harp and organ ("You Make Me Believe"), horns and percussive piano ("Ride With Me").

But it's the slower numbers that I can really get into. "Little Piece of Heaven" and "Turn to Me" have irresistible grooves. "Heaven" is good-timey, and "Turn" is smoldering and aching.

"Anywhere But Where I Am" comes darn close to being a power ballad, and that's OK by me. It's pumped up by crunching guitar chords, ends on a well-timed howl, and features a wicked slide guitar turn by "Moose" Harrell. "Pressing On" has a similar feel to "Anywhere," and "Pressing" has a unique chord progression and a gotta-be-strong chorus.

Probably my favorite cut is "No Stranger to the Blues." Songs about Jesus can be heavy-handed, but "Stranger" is good enough to avoid that trap. It has plenty of gospel in the piano and organ fills and backup singers, and Turley's vocal is heartfelt.

The album ends with the swinging "Real Thing," which reminds me of a powerhouse, sweat-soaked ending to a '60s soul revue: horns, call-and-response vocals, everything's-all right-in-the-end vibe. B-3 organ player Johnny Neal deserves mention for this number and for his work throughout the disc.

Over the Horizon is soulful and soul-stirring. Joe Turley taps into his spirituality and has the rhythm-and-blues chops to deliver.

- Chip Withrow,  Muses Muse


Comments about "YOU MAKE ME BELIEVE "
(1st internet single from the CD )
 
"Great beat.... Well thought out lyrics with strong hook...instruments were all place tastefully... lead vocals strong... production is excellent!!! Arrangement is great..."
-Hartselle, Alabama


“Actually...kickass harmonica parts...”
- Hyderabad, India


“Great production ... Love the organ and the harmonica soloing. The lead vocals are very well performed. well arranged song! song is modern and quirky! very catchy,...backing vox are cool too.”


 "5.0...all the elements of a great tune...interesting from beginning to end... Good tune guys. Thanks for the music."
- Review by Texas Mojo


 "Stones"-ish vibe to it, ...very cool, The hook in this song is very good, very catchy, it had me bouncing in the chair...Stellar song!”


“ HOT HOT HOT...Well done, big marks.”
- Oxford, United Kingdom


When The Jitterbug Bites


What is this thing called Turley? It be a combination of swing, blues, original rock, Latin sex, big band and harmonic pop, with a nod toward the retro action of 'Jump, Jive and Wail'. Maybe swing will never return in full color to dominate regular radio airwaves, but it won't be from lack of good material. Joe's seen to that.

The way Joe holds half a waver at the end of his vocalized sentences reminds me of a young, young Louis Armstrong. And he has that smile in his voice as he holds a note. He also knows how to put together a song, a sound, a band. He should. Leon Russell, Dolly Parton, Waylon and Willie, The Shirelles - he's played with them all. Apart from being seen on everything from PBS to Hee Haw.

When you get to track 5 you'll be impressed with Turley's ability to drive all over the musical spectrum; this time the road turns onto a high-horned 'Tango Mi Corazon', almost like a Benny Hill break from the madness of 40s-50s rhythm. Gad, he has fun with this one. From the first breathy dialogue with the dark-haired beauty, to the stereo flute and twanging snap of naked (and not embarrassed) acoustic Spanish guitar. 'And the stars lead the way as we dance into the night / As a mellow trombone serenades us in our flight.'

Back in the swing of things, the Dixieland start of 'Like-I-Doo' has the best walking bass on the CD, and the sorta dueling electric guitars prove this stuff wasn't dug up from the tail end of the 40s. Nah. It jives with more love than a mere retro movement.

Yeah, therein lies the secret. Joe's vast family of players is having so much FUN. Pictured on the 2nd page of the CD booklet, you'll see how many people were involved. Over a dozen, and it sounds like it.

For the man who loves his old time radio, for the Frankie in us all, 'Ging Ginga Ding' and other brassy tracks are the bees knees. To quote from the first lyric - it says it all: 'Got a crazy boogie woogie band / We rock the houses all across the land.' Yeah, dad!

Ben Ohmart, Muse's Muse Music Reviews


As a radio DJ with one of the few noveau swing shows on commercial radio, I get to audition maybe 5 or 10 new CD's a week from all over the country and all over the world. Some are ok, some good and once in a while I come across something that is absolutely great. Joe Turley's CD belongs in the "better than great" category. I put him right up there with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. There is not one "dud" track on this entire CD. The music is powerful, lively, diversified and never stops swinging. The lyrics are creative and fun. The arrangements are inventive and interesting with surprise turns and stops every now and then that really grab you. The music has interesting melodies, its not all straight progressions as seems to be the case on so many swing CD's. Finally, the recording is flawless. The bass is out front and solid, and the horns and rhythm section are crisp and clean. You can hear every instrument and there are lot of  them including organ and harmonica. The mix is perfect. Several of the songs have great CHR chart appeal. Mr. Turley has a great future in swing and pop music. This is well worth buying and it will sure keep you dancing.

Swing City Sam, WGBB AM 1240, Long Island, New York


Now comes this smokin' swinger.

" When the Jitterbug Bites" is the debut CD from Joe Turley, a Nashville stage and studio musician by day, and a jukin' jazz man by night.  This CD is a high voltage run of tunes that capture elements of swing, jump blues and rockin' jazz.  Turley, who plays piano, sax and harmonica, as well as handling the vocals, will get with your boogie bone on this jumpin' feel good recording.

"When the Jitterbug Bites" hits the proverbial first pitch thrown with the opening track, 'Ging Ginga Ding,' a soon to be classic swinger that missed the 1930's by a mere 70 years.  But Gene Krupa would have liked it. Other songs such as 'Boogietime,' a boogie-woogie number, keeps the groove going.  

A couple of songs, like the bluesy 'Sea of Miracles' and 'Ring that Bell' feature a trumpet line that is straight out of the Louis Armstrong camp.  If Marty Robbins would've ever wrote a jazz number, 'Tango Mi Corazon,' with its horns and guitar work, would have been it.  But he didn't. These songs are all Turley originals, quite a feat, especially since many have that comfortable feel of standards.  

To prove this point, '35 Cents' is reflective of the cost of today's phone call.  As the song says, "I've got a quarter, somebody loan me a dime."All done to a Big Band blues background. Please don't let me overlook or fail to mention the guitar work on this recording by non- household names like John England and Moose Harrell.  It's first rate.  I guess when you're a Nashville studio guy, you know where to look for first rate back-up musicians. 

Coming on the heels of the Ken Burns jazz project, this disc should be of interest to folks who were intrigued by the jumpin-swing era.  Anybody who doesn't like new and different should stay away.  Hey, new and different, wasn't that jazz?

Dig it, Chuck Sargent, wxjm d.j., Virginia


For those in the jazz audience who enjoy straight-ahead swing jazz with a touch of smokey blues, here comes Joe Turley's WHEN THE JITTERBUG BITES, a collection of 11 songs which will give you good feelings and fun!

Such titles as the innovative "Sea of Miracles," "35 Cents," "Tango Mi Corazon," and "Boogietime" give you an idea as to how this collection excites and endears itself to swing jazz listeners! "High Steppin" and "Ging Ginga Ding" are two other lively tunes to get the feet moving!

Joe Turley is a jazz artist of many talents! Turley utilizes good solid vocals with piano and harmonica, and other instruments!

What is enjoyable about this collection is its feel-good approach. Excellent solo work abounds!

If you want a different swing jazz collection, this contemporary outing is the winning ticket, for Joe Turley really jumps WHEN THE JITTERBUG BITES!!!!! A must have for contemporary swing jazz admirers!

Lee Prosser, Jazzreview.com


"When The Jitterbug Bites" - This was the first of Joe's albums and where most of the second album could be called 'Blues,' this album has to be called 'Jazz,' although a strong argument could be made for calling it 'Big Band Swing.' In fact, if you close your eyes while you listen to the song titled "High Steppin'" you can almost picture the Tommy Dorsey or Glenn Miller band playing swing back in the 40's. Sweet music! (Okay. So I'm really dating myself here. It's alright cause I admit I'm an old fart!)

It is a collection of 11 tracks all of which were written, words and music, by Joe except the title song lyrics which he co-wrote with Jeff Silbar. This is an album that an old instrumental type like me can really enjoy! There are many instances here of Joe showing his musical talents as a instrumentalist as well as vocalist. He plays piano, keyboards, sax, and a mean harmonica! The songs have lots of instrumental riffs in them, from trumpet to clarinet to sax, guitars, and YES, even a trombone! I played T-Bone for many years, blowing music like this. My childhood idol was Tommy Dorsey! Geesh, all the hours I spent trying to duplicate that sweet, mellow sound of his! Still have that horn; can't play it anymore, but I still have it.

The album opens with a crazy little song titled "Ging Ginga Ding." I think that's Joe's little son James that you can hear in the opening bars. I'll bet he was having a fun time! I put a clip of it here for you.  There are audio clips available above so you can get a feel for each song, but I won't try to critique each and every song because they're all good and all the same style, with two major exceptions.

First exception is the song titled "Tango Mi Corazon" which has what it's name implies, a Latin tango beat and opens with a Spanish guitar rift, some canastas, some Latin flavored trumpet and some Spanish lyrics. I can't attest to the correctness of the lyrics because high school Spanish class was a LONG time ago, but I can say that I liked it!

The other exception is the song "High Steppin'" and what's so different about it is that it's almost entirely an instrumental, and has only a few words right at the end. This is my most favorite track on the disc because it really takes me back to the hundreds, maybe thousands of hours I've spent playing and listening to Big Band music. I dare you to not like this song!

I wish I had been around to observe the rehearsals and studio recordings periods for this album. With a group of good musicians like this, I'll bet the impromptu jam sessions must have been something to hear!  This album is a real treat!  It also has the power to reach over generation gaps;  my own mother and father would have LOVED this album, my own son likes it and my youngest grandson is pestering me to get him his own copy of it!  That's a heck of a reach!!

Doug Morris, IMAG


Joe Turley - Artist of the Month of July
Joe Turley's debut jazz CD When the Jitterbug Bites can only be described as "neo-swing" for the twenty first century. This genre has been making a comeback lately thanks to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Brian Setzer Orchestra and the Cherry Poppin' Daddies among others. Turley churns out rip-roaring tracks like cut one, Ging Ginga Ding. This ain't Count Basie swing, this is Cab Calloway jump up and shout swing we're talking about here. Although Cab was more of a jump blues man, Turley keeps his swing on the positive side and that punchy beat continues in BoogieTime. Turley wastes no time scooping folks out of their seats and getting them out on the dance floor with this boogie woogie jam. But it's not all get-up-and-swing music, the sonic finesse of such jazz greats as Duke Ellington or Artie Shaw are reflected in Sea of Miracles. This is the kind of gracious forties swing that our grandparents slow danced to before the war. This album can take you back to a time before you were born and you feel right at home there.

Ring That Bell manages to fit right in the middle between jazz and swing with a tiny touch of gospel to spice things up. Tango Mi Corazon is pretty self explanatory, a tango with a lot of salsa flair. With lines like: "Won't you come cool me, with your lips a kiss will soothe me / Fingertips caress and cool me with a passionate desire" Turley heats up this already steamy dance. Like-i-Doo picks up the beat once again, revisiting the hot jazz sounds from the likes of Louis Armstrong all the way to Louis Prima. Sittin' on Santa's Knee is a playful little jazz ditty while 35 cents is a finger-snapping swing tune with subtle modern rock undertones. Tone and groove reach a meticulous pitch with the mostly instrumental, High Steppin'. Turley dusts off his sax for this gutsy number. With over a dozen musicians helping out on When the Jitterbug Bites, the big band sound of these two tunes is not a problem.

Don't Dawg This Cat is a catchy little number that throws down revved-up blues beats. It also has it's brassy outbursts, sporting lyrics such as: "...when I get locked in my groove, it takes dynamite to make me move / Don't bark, don't whine, don't howl, don't wail, just sit lookin' pretty and wag that tail." While feminists my shriek in horror, it's clever lyrics like these that could put Louis Jordan to shame. Turley struts through the title track to wrap up When the Jitterbug Bites with a bang. The entire CD is riddled with the high-stepping freedom of jump-n-jive swing so get out your martinis and fire up your cigars, when you check out When the Jitterbug Bites, you're going to want to head straight to a swing club. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, move over, there's a new swinger in town.

C.J. Cauley, Shock Value Webzine


The Global Muse Elite Artist
If you're one of those who simply can't get enough of that funky swinging boogie jazz sound, then you're gonna love Joe Turley. From the excellent musicianship of this well seasoned band, to the amazing charisma of Joe, music fans of this genre will have a hard time getting anything done. This music has the ability to take your mind off of everything else.

Joe has the charm and sophistication to sweep you off of your feet with a mellow swagger, or rip you from your seat with a powerhouse boogie woogie groove. This is music that defies age and pop culture. It's music that has stood the test of time, and is every more alluring today. That has a lot to do with the fact that guys like Joe Turley are behind the wheel. So when the jitterbug bites, don't just sit there, get up and move. Joe definitely has the grooves that will keep you jumpin' all night long.

Michael Allison, The Global Muse


Veteran studio and touring musician Joe Turley has an awesome hit on his hands with his debut CD, When The Jitterbug Bites. Although well steeped in country, rock and blues, Turley has given us a wonderful CD filled with energetic swing, boogie-woogie and Dixieland music that is sure to entertain a diverse musical fan base.   

Joe Turley on vocals, piano, saxes, blues harp, guitar and percussion is an excellent musician on his own. If that were not enough, he has surrounded himself with a musical “cast of thousands” to give this CD an extremely entertaining and professional sound. When The Jitterbug Bites is peppered with heaps of sweet background vocals (Marie Turley, Chris Thompson, Paula Howley, Vickie Carrico, Dennis Gulley and Johnny Neel), driving rhythm (Charlie Chadwick, John England, Moose Harrell, and Rich Redmond) and exciting horn (Jim Williamson, Bill Huber and Doug Moffet) sections.

Joe Turley himself is an excellent vocalist, songwriter, and arranger, with a seemingly limitless musical ability. (Boy, can he blow a blues harp! Don’t miss 35 Cents!) It is extremely hard for me to single out any individual songs on this fine CD; each one is enjoyable, fresh and tasteful. Eight of the cuts on the CD, including the title track, can be sampled at the Joe Turley web site. 
When The Jitterbug Bites is a very well made, creative and original musical work. It features something for everybody, including swing, boogie-woogie, Dixieland, country, blues and even a Christmas song, Sittin’ On Santa’s Knee. The CD features some terrific individual instrument solo and fill work, especially on Like-I-Doo which even features some Allman Brothers-like duel guitar riffs.

Tom Yanno, Musicians Realm


 

 

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