A British folk-punk singer in the tradition of Billy Bragg and Joe Strummer, Frank Turner sings “rock ‘n’ roll will save us all” with enough conviction to make it happen.
His rousing tunes are filled with defiant punk poetry and across six albums, the 35-year-old troubadour has developed a formula that appeals across a wide spectrum. Tucson still needs a proper headlining show from Turner, but the touring partners that have brought him to town are Social Distortion and Jason Isbell. And Turner’s music bridges that span between anthematic punk and heartfelt Americana.
Turner’s 2015 Positive Songs for Negative People swings from quiet solo acoustic songs to electrified punk, with big sing-along choruses like “Get Better” and a somber closing elegy to a departed friend.
Turner shared his current musical obsessions with the Tucson Weekly:
AJJ - The Bible 2
AJJ (formerly Andrew Jackson Jihad) have been friends and touring partners of mine for years. This, their latest album, is a brilliant concentration of everything that makes them amazing as a band; great songwriting, incredible lyrics.
Arkells - Morning Report
We spent much of 2016 on the road with Arkells and they have had a big impact on my thinking about music. This is classic, intelligent pop music.
Every Time I Die - Low Teens
I love hardcore, but I'm quite picky about it these days. It's rare for a new hardcore record to make an impact on me. This is the exception. Blisteringly heavy and intense.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - The Nashville Sound
Jason is a friend and a peer - I'm on the road with him right now. His latest record is another perfect collection of songs.
Will Varley - Kingsdown Sundown
I discovered Will playing in a bar about 5 years ago and instantly fell in love. He goes from strength to strength as a writer and a performer.