Jayce Turley — Opening Act
Every now and then, you come across a musician early in their career and from the first time you hear them, you know they are destined to be huge. Jayce Turley is one of those guys. Hailing from Greenup, Kentucky, Turley is releasing his debut EP, The Opening Act on all digital platforms on April 14,2022.
The Opening Act features six songs written by Turley. In addition to Turley on guitar and vocals, The Opening Act features Kyle Kleinman (Mandolin), Dave Johnson (Fiddle and Dobro), Ray Salyers (Bass) and Chris Stockwell (Dobro). Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Dan Ward of Hitmaker Studios (Wheelersburg, Ohio). The EP’s cover art, featuring the opening act playing to the crowd of vultures was designed by Jimbo Valentine of Amalgam Unlimited.
“Singing about how outlaw songs ain’t what outlaw songs were” Turley states early on in the title track, “The Opening Act,”’ which launches the EP’s musical journey. “I’m up at the crack of daylight, I’m up with the midnight glow. Down about 3 AM and then it’s off to sing away my soul. But it really ain’t a bad life when I’m playing for a chunk of change.” This one is a great look at the life of a fledgling artist working their way up the ladder, “I play at every place in town, still nobody knows my name.”
“Well, I woke up on the wrong side of the wrong side of my head,” Turley pines to start off “Ghost of Your Goodbye.” This one is a break-up aftermath song. “So, I get stoned, on the ghost of your goodbye so damn dark I can’t see the sun, the trees drown out the light. That bright sky and this ole heart are sinking so damn low.” Turley not only has a voice that reels the listener in and holds you for the duration of the EP, but his writing across the EP is also exceptional.
After the pain of “Ghost of Your Goodbye,” Turley shifts to a much lighter topic in “Cowboy Hats and Pearl Snaps.” This one is a rousing look at the small town summer Saturday night rituals. ” We got a tv on the back porch Saturday night, y’all can come and see, have a fire in the backyard from 8PM to 3” Turley belts out leading into a chorus of “We got them cowboy hats and them old pearl snaps, like them outlaws from way back when, takin in life and livin each night, just me and my outlaw friends” “Cowboy Hats and Pearl Snaps” is the good time party song on the EP.
I’m a firm believer that a truly good or better Country album should have at least one prison or train song. The Opening Act fulfils that requirement with “Hard Hard Time.” Locked up and missing his woman back home, “and I’ll fight till I can tell you I love you and I’ll be home soon, but don’t you cry cause darlin we ain’t through, but this hard time is so hard to do”
“Whisper Goodnight” is my favorite on the EP, possibly because it was the first one, I heard Turley perform live. I will say that all six songs plead their case for the top song on the EP. Stuck in a holler by a road closure, Turley pines for his love, “Well, the work trucks have blocked all the exits and I can’t get out to see you tonight. But I pray that you know that I’m thinking of you while I’m weeping and watching the sky. The dark clouds dance right over every star I’m trying to see. I never can get a look at them unless you’re looking at them with me.” A love song that manages to mention George Jones? Can it get any better? “Like the lyrics to a sad country song but your memory could never make me as sad, as ole George Jones.”
Closing out The Opening Act is another post relationship song, “Lone Hearted Fool’ that finds Turley lamenting his treatment by his now former lover. “I’ll play a sad song about all that we sought and all that i went through to get where I got but don’t belong”. Illustrating the depths of post relationship depression, “You drove me darlin past the headaches, the heartbreaks, the heartaches, back to the depths you pushed me honey over the edge, you’re a mess, I’m depressed, you’re stuck in my head.”
Jayce Turley delivers a magnificent debut release with The Opening Act. Making a statement that he fully intends to move out of that opener role to bigger shows.
The entire EP is solid from start to finish, Turley writes and performs at level that far exceeds his seventeen years. Yes, Turley is seventeen years old! I saved that fact till the end of the review because I did not want his age to distract from the product he is releasing on all digital platforms, April 14, 2022. Physical copies of The Opening Act, including signed copies are available for pre-order on his website (https://jayceturleymusic.com) with delivery scheduled for mid-May 2022. Given his age, his talent and his drive, Turley may very well be headlining arenas before he is twenty-one.
Enjoy a review of Jayce Turley’s recent show opening for Arlo McKinley, here: Show Review: Arlo McKinley at PAC in Kentucky