Frankie Ballard with special guest Lee Gantt
Friday, September 22, 8 PM
Q Casino Showroom
Winner of Kenny Chesney’s Next Big Star competition in 2008, Frankie Ballard has gone on to tour with Lady Antebellum and Florida Georgia Line. He’s coming to Q Casino on Friday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. in the Q Showroom.
When Ballard was growing up in Battle Creek, Mich., his father played him one classic album over and over again: Marty Robbins’ Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, featuring Robbins’ signature hit “El Paso.” Since then, Ballard has scored three consecutive number one hits: “Sunshine & Whiskey,” “Helluva Life,” and “Young & Crazy.”
For his third album, It All Started With A Beer, he left Nashville for the Mexico border. Setting up shop at the Sonic Ranch, just south of El Paso in Tornillo, Texas. Ballard and his band threw themselves headlong into the music while eating and sleeping at the studio. Their goal: make a genuine album.
“I grew up listening to albums, and I loved them as bodies of work,” says Ballard. “But today, everyone cuts singles. Even Sunshine & Whiskey was recorded in chunks. We’d go into one studio, cut four, then go into another studio and cut another four. It’s groovus interruptus, man.”
The change of scenery worked. The first single, “It All Started With A Beer,” has equal parts nostalgia and hope.
“On the surface, it’s a love story about two folks meeting in a bar and having a beer. From there, the relationship blossomed into something long lasting and now they’re looking back, going, ‘Man, look at this great relationship we got, and it started so simply, with just a beer.’ So many people can relate to the idea,” Ballard says.
If Ballard has an endgame, it’s the longevity of someone like Seger, a career that continues well into the future.
“There is something you have to fundamentally understand about me: my dream goes the whole way. It goes all the way. So I want more people hearing my music,” he says. “So what are you going to do, Frankie? Well, I guess I’m going to try to make some better music. And if it’s not better than what I did before, there’s no reason for it to come out. I don’t want to maintain altitude—I want to fly, man.”