Prolific as ever, Joe filled HTP's 2003 gap year with a new solo album. "JLT" revealed a return to a more overt AOR style after the darker "Slam". The album was recorded by a cast of thousands rather than the more settled band from the previous album.
That said, the main players were still present and correct, and many familiar names took part. Keyboards were mainly handled by ex-Blacknore's Night man Carmine Giglio, although Paul Morris contributed on one track. Bass duties were divided between Eric Czar and Greg Smith, and John O'Reilly drummed throughout. Joe Bonamassa guested on three tracks, while long time associate Karl Cochran would become JLT's right-hand man throughout the decade. Main co-writer on the album was Chris Marksbury, who had come into the fold after Joe had sung a commercial which he'd written. Commercials were just another facet of Joe's very busy schedule. he was also involved in the Voices Of Classic Rock project, which gathered together veterans of 1970s-80s acts such as Glenn Hughes and Jimi Jamison (who had been asked to join Deep Purple in 1989). In 2003-2005 Joe also managed to sing sessions for Brazen Abbot (four tracks on both "Guilty As SIn" and "My Resurrection"), and on tribute albums for Rainbow and Metallica.
Following on from HTP's second and final tour in 2004, Joe was straight back into the recording studio for his next solo album. "The Usual Suspects" was released in February 2005. Musicians included Trans Siberian Orchestra bassist David Zablidowsky. Guitarists Karl Cochran and Akira Kajiyama contributed, with Joe reciprocating by singing two tracks on Karl Cochran's Voodooland project "Give Me Air" (Bob Daisley played bass) and in 2006 released a jointly credited album with Kajiyama called "Fire Without Flame".
Joe played shows throughout 2005/2006, mainly in the New Jersey area, with a band comprising Karl Cochran on guitar, Greg Smith on bass, Al Fritsch on keyboards (another contributor to the Voodooland album), and TC Tolliver (ex Plasmatics) on drums. The ad hoc nature of the shows was reflected in the rotating line-ups, with other musicians, such as Sandy Gennaro (drums) and Bruce Terkildsen (bass) taking part. As Turner pointed out at the time: "The band can vary a lot. Whenever I can, I try and include a couple of the "usual suspects" like Karl Cochran and Greg Smith...guys who have played with me on record and live before." Turner and Cochran also found time to prepare music for another of Joe's side-projects, Sunstorm.
The Sunstorm studio project was instigated by Serafino Perugino of Frontiers Records. He suggested that Joe should revisit tracks originally written for the abortive follow-up to his 1985 "Rescue You" album. Joe had previously considered re-recording the material, and in the end chose to re-make three tracks for "Sunstorm". The album also featured writing contributions from ex-Survivor singer Jim Peterik. It was released in September 2006 and took a straightforward 1980s AOR path which went down well with fans of the genre.
The producer was Pink Cream 69's Dennis Ward, who also handled bass duties, and gathered together musicians for the album. They included his Pink Cream 69 band mate Uwe Rietenaur on guitar. A second Sunstorm album "House Of Dreams" followed in April 2009, again featuring a couple of tracks written and performed by Joe in the 1980s, alongside songs written by the likes of Jim Peterik, Desmond Child and Russ Ballard. Dennis Ward was again at the helm. The changes to the studio band was the inclusion of Gunter Werno from German prog-rock band Vanden Plas and guitarist Thomas Koehne. A third album was released in 2012. which visits Joe's 1980's vocal sessions, including newly recorded versions of tracks which originaly appeared on albums by Cher and Michael Bolton. Dennis Ward was once again at the helm as producer.
Big Noize was launched in late 2006 as a live "supergroup" project. With Joe fronting a band containing guitarist Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot), drummer Vinny Appice (Dio / Black Sabbath), bassist Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne / Billy Idol) and Joe's long-time associate keyboard player Gary Corbett.
An early press release stated that "the repertoire will feature well-known songs from each artist's catalogue" which has held true, although the band did write and record download-only track "Battlefields" before a September 2008 tour of Iraq and Kuwait. By that time ex-AC/DC / Dio drummer Simon Wright had stepped in in place of Appice, while the live keyboards slot was taken by session player Erik Norlander. The Iraq visit received some publicity, and since then Big Noize have undertaken sporadic live work, including a European tour in 2009. They last played live in 2011. No further shows are planned.
In 2006 Joe Lynn Turner and Karl Cochran began work on what is still Joe's most recent solo album. "Second Hand Life" appeared in April 2007, and featured two tracks which had been written specifically for Deep Purple Mk5's abortive follow-up to "Slaves & Masters". "Stroke Of Midnight" (credited to Turner, Blackmore, Glover, Peterik) became "One Man's Meat" on "The Battle Rages On", while the title track was never released by Purple. The studio band included latterday Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Michael Cartellone, and Joe long-time producer and writing partner Bob Held on bass. Around the same time Joe also recorded a duet of Rainbow's "Street Of Dreams" with Candice Night, for Blackmore's Night's "Village Lanterne" album.
On 30 September 2007 a live show was recorded at the United Forces of Rock festival in Germany. This was released in October as "Joe Lynn Turner Live In Germany", his first solo live album. In keeping with the recent pattern of Joe's career, the album not only featured two ex-Rainbow and two ex-Blackmore's Night members, but was also weighted heavily in favour of Rainbow tracks - which made up nine of the thirteen selections. Deep Purple's "Burn" was also included. On later 2007 shows Nena's bassist Paul Dileo filled in for Greg Smith, although Smith was back on board for Joe's next side project, Over The Rainbow.
With Ritchie Blackmore not about to take part in a Rainbow reunion, Over The Rainbow was conceived as the next best thing. With Ritchie's blessing, his son Jurgen took the guitar spot, and the band were completed by a collection of ex-Rainbow members. The final line-up was announced in January 2009, and a debut tour of the former USSR kicked off in February.
Joe Lynn Turner had been increasingly exploring is musical past, and indeed the bulk of the set lists were made up of tracks recorded and played live during his tenure with Rainbow. However the band also tackled older tracks such as "Tarot Woman", which had never been performed live by any line-up of Rainbow. Much of the interest lay with Tony Carey's involvement, and it was something of a shame when he quit the group in June 2009. Illness had already lead to Paul Morris being called in to deputise for a show in Sweden, but before that appearance took place Carey had decided to leave permanently, citing dissatisfaction with the management.
With Paul Morris onboard the line-up became more weighted towards latter day Rainbow, although they continue to play tracks spanning the band's lifetime, such as "Man On The Silver Mountain" and "Kill The King".
Joe's touring schedule was relentless, both Over The Rainbow and solo. He toured Brazil in 2009 and 2010 with pick-up bands put together by and including specialist tour organisers Garry King (drums) and Andy Robbins (bass). Further live work came in the shape of more Rainbow tribute shows: Joe toured Japan during September 2010 with Graham Bonnet and Doogie White as "The Voices of Rainbow". As of 2012 no more Over The Rainbow shows are on the cards.
.... Joe Lynn Turner, solo album discography 2003-2007 ....
.... Other notable albums 2004-2012 ....