Sponsored by Hudson River Bank & Trust Co. Foundation and Peckham Industries, Inc.
Frankie Ballard will be appearing on Sunday, September 1st at 7PM on the Mainstage.
The Nashville resident got his start by entering (and winning) Kenny Chesney’s Next Big Star competition in 2008. That got him a gig opening for Chesney at all Michigan venues, his native state. It also got him started on the road to becoming a country rock singer and songwriter. By 2013, Ballard’s second album, Sunshine & Whiskey won him 3 gold records – “Helluva Life”, “Sunshine & Whiskey” and “Young & Crazy”. –Not a bad trifecta.
“You fall in love with songs as a kid,” Ballard says. [When I was a kid], “records were playing in every part of my house… even the garage.” His Dad’s favorites became his, too. “I loved Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.” Today he calls them the Holy Trinity of country rock.
Ballard knows his stuff. Album #2, Sunshine and Whiskey was recorded at Muscle Shoals Recording Studio in Alabama. Known for the work of legends including Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Levon Helm and the Rolling Stones, his close affiliation with Bob Seger (again, as an opening act) got him in the door. Ballard’s most recent album, El Rio (named one of the 25 best country albums of 2016 – Rolling Stone) was recorded at the famed Sonic Ranch just south of El Paso. Known for its collection of over 55 vintage and modern guitars as well as top end vintage recording equipment, Ballard lived there throughout the recording process for this third album. “There’s rock & roll. There’s country stories and country lyrics and country songs,” he says. “And there’s a lot of blues swagger and blues guitar playing. It’s all those things together. It’s just my own brand of American music.”