Turner set to sign autographs after parade

Festival-goers this weekend may recognize a familiar face of a local boy who “made good.”

Pocahontas County native and emerging county music artist Wyatt Turner. who has been featured on the TV show “The Voice,” has been making the rounds of the Mountain State Forest Festival this week.

He is set to be an honored guest for the Grand Feature Parade on Saturday, followed by an autograph-signing session at the Downtown Stage afterward.

Turner, who was born in the logging town of Stony Bottom, said that though he had experienced the Forest Festival in his youth, this year is different for him.

“People recognize me,” he said. “They ask for autographs and pictures. It’s really humbling to come back and see the places that I grew up loving.”

Turner spends much of his time in Nashville working on his music career. He is currently recording his first album, featuring his acclaimed single “You Remind Me of West Virginia.”

“I really wanted to break the stereotypes that people have of the state,” he said. “I want people to recognize what we have here. this is where I come from and I’m proud of it.”

Turner credits Waylon Jennings, Alan Jackson, Blake Shelton, James Taylor (he lists “Fire and Rain” and “Sweet Baby James” among his favorites), and West Virginia native Brad Paisley among his influences.

Turner showed a passion for the stage from his earliest middle school performances to participating in contests such as the Colgate Country Challenge, trying out for “Nashville Star,” making it to the second round of tryouts for “American Idol,” and, most recently, being chosen for season 3 of “The Voice,” which he says he was approached by the shows producers to enter.

Turner is set to perform as an opening act for Jason Michael Carroll at Schmitt’s Saloon in Morgantown on Friday.