Frankie Ballard brings blues twist to country | RecordCourier.com

Frankie Ballard brings blues twist to country

by Sarah Hauck
shauck@recordcourier.com
Frankie Ballard plays 8 p.m. Thursday at TJ's Corral at the Carson Valley Inn.
Drew Reynolds |

Taking a breather from the fast-paced tempo of living life on the road, Frankie Ballard voiced his excitement of sharing his music with a new crowd.

Frankie Ballard and his band will take over TJ’s Corral at the Carson Valley Inn Thursday.

Ballard said it doesn’t matter the venue, the show stays the same.

“Venue doesn’t have anything to do with it,” the Michigan native said. “We’re there to entertain people. We hope to do that by playing some old favorites, some new music, maybe a few cover songs. Our show happens no matter where we are at. We’re going to be rocking one way or another.”

Ballard, who has a stack of accolades longer than his tour bus, credits his success to the original sound he has created for himself.

Drawing influences from a variety of stars like Bob Seger, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, he said the TJ’s Corral crowd will get a more rock ‘n’ roll vibe than they would expect from someone topping country music charts.

“I’m influenced by old blues, county and rock ‘n’ roll,” Ballard said. “My brand is a alot more rock ‘n’ roll than some of my contemporaries, and that’s fine. These things are just what I’m into and what I love. They have created who I am as a guitar player. I’m definitely more on the rock ‘n’ roll side of things, and I celebrate that. That’s what makes me different and I’m proud of that.”

The heavy blues influence is sure to be heard Thursday through fan favorites like “Sunshine and Whiskey,” “It All Started With a Beer,” and “Drinky Drink.”

Ballard said the audience will also get an exclusive preview of some of the material from his new album, “El Rio” that drops June 10.

The track “Cigarette” is one of Ballard’s favorite pieces from his new album and he is excited to share it with the Valley.

“The release is just around the corner,” he said. “We will be playing four or five songs from the new album. We’re going to be teasing some people a little bit, showing them what is to come.”

The creation of “El Rio” required an escape from the hustle and bustle of Nashville, Ballard said.

The band spent time in El Paso, TX composing and recording material that people can connect with.

“We really wanted to focus on taking the new album to the next level,” Ballard said. “We’ve had a fair amount of success and had some great momentum going. With those things we wanted to take it up a notch and get better. I had a real spiritual experience writing this album. People are going to love the songs. Hopefully the album can resonate with some people and really make connections and hopefully people will crank it up and start living their life to it.”

Connecting with the audience is a must for Ballard and his five-piece band, at any concert, at any venue, regardless of how tired they are.

The non-stop lifestyle is welcome in Ballard’s eyes, because he gets to play and share his music with others.

“We’re delivering music just to you, in real time. It really is us up there playing and rocking, making people dance and sing,” he said. “We will do some real guitar playing, and showing off here and there. It is a good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll show.”

Although Ballard and his crew are familiar with Nevada, this will be the group’s first time in the Valley.

Coming off of a show the night before in San Diego, the band will not disappoint Ballard hopes.

“We’re really excited to be here. It is rare to be able to come to a place I have never been,” he said. “I’m thankful to come to a new town, with new faces. Hopefully we can earn some new fans and come back and do it all over again. We want to give you guys a great show and hopefully have a blast doing it.”

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and Ballard takes the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Tickets are still available for the show and are $33 for general admission and the party pit and $39 for reserved seating.

For more information on Ballard visit http://www.frankieballard.com.

For tickets visit http://www.carsonvalleyinn.com.