Turner headlines year five of Galva’s country music gathering

Mike Landis, Editor
Josh Turner headlines Saturday’s Back Road Music Festival at the Galva Park District.

When it comes to performing, Back Road Music Festival headliner Josh Turner believes outdoor festival season is the best season.

“I’ve always preferred warm weather to cold weather, then add in a bunch of excited country music fans,” Turner said. “I’m just a guy out here living out my dreams.”

Turner is the big attraction in the fifth annual country music gathering at the Galva Park District Saturday. Ashley McBryde gets it all started on the main stage at 4 p.m. followed by High Valley, Chase Bryant and then Turner’s deep baritone voice and countless hits.

Turner’s speaking voice matched his recognizable singing voice when he took a few minutes to chat by phone with The Galva News last Friday.

“Obviously they are going to hear the hits they know and love and expect to hear from us,” Turner said when asked what fans can expect from his show.

“It all boils down to the crowd each night. If they are excited and into what we’re doing, that’s ideal.”

Back Road fans are typically an excitable and enthusiastic bunch, and Turner should be the perfect close to another highly-anticipated festival.

Turner noted he brings his own lighting and sound crews.

“Not only will the fans hear a good show, they will see a good show, too,” he said.

Back Road fans can expect plenty of songs from Turner’s latest album, the 2017 release “Deep South” that featured the No. 1 single “Hometown Girl,” and the title track from his first gospel album which is set for release in October.

“I’m kind of excited about that,” Turner said.”

Turner labeled “Long Black Train” as his signature concert song, and “Why Don’t We Just Dance” as the song that gets the crowd going.

“It kind of sends an electric shock through the crowd. It probably provides the most energy,” Turner said of upbeat latter tune.

“And there’s kind of a sense of unity in the crowd when everyone sings along to Long Black Train.”

He also enjoys a sense of unity with his fans when he shares a few moments during meet and greets — which he’s doing Saturday in Galva.

“They are always fun, especially the ones where people have been waiting a long time to meet me. They bring a different energy,” Turner said. “It’s always fun to shake hands with fans and get a picture with them.”

“The ultimate reward is hearing how my music has made a positive impact on someone’s life,” he added. “It’s not about money or the big cheering crowds.”

Turner crafts his music after what he refers to as his “Mount Rushmore of heroes in country music,” which features one extra face on the mountain side — Randy Travis, John Anderson, Vern Gosdin, Hank Williams Jr. and Johnny Cash.

“Any music you hear from me, you hear bits and pieces of those guys,” Turner said.

And what he learned from those heroes will be on full display Saturday night in the Galva Park District.

“Be original and develop your own style”

Side stage performers

When the main stage is down for changeovers between artists, the side stage keeps the music flowing. This year’s performers are Tasji Bachman, Chugs &Austin Music and Craig Gerdes.

Ticket information

Tickets can be purchased locally at the Galva Pharmacy and Hog Country Studios in Kewanee.

Tickets are $40 for general admission and $55 for the Hog Trough.

To purchase tickets online, go to the festival’s website —