1-CD with 32-page booklet, 19 tracks. Playing time approx. 70 mns.
'Now this,' said one reviewer, 'is country. Just a couple of guys in a Texas honky tonk.' Michael Ballew's songs are a tapestry of Texas life and music. A lot of country, a little swing, a taste of Tex-Mex. It's the sound of warm nights and cold beer. On numerous performances in the USA and Europe this nice Texan guy with his unmistakeable voice has proven how a full blooded musician can inspire any audience, just with his guitar and his voice. Michael Ballew puts his heart in every single performance, at big festivals, privat cowboy or ranch parties or just in front of three guests in a roadhouse somewhere on this planet. This CD is an impressive proof of his live-capabilities. The 18 titles include Damned Ol' Beer, I Can't Drive Home, Texas Gal, I'm Leavin' These Honky Tonks, Sixteen Tons, The Cowboy And the Preacher and I Love Texas.
Michael Ballew January 25, 1997
The prospect of making a live CD is something every performer looks at with a wary eye and, I confess, I was no different. For several years I've been getting requests from my fans in Europe and the United States for a recording of my acoustic solo performance — and the time seemed right.
The original plan was to record two or three nights and then pick the best songs, but I got to thinking that's like cheating and, if nothing else, I wanted this to be honest. I had a gig coming up at Gruene Hall, (one of my favorite places to play) and the weather was good so I decided to go with one performance and if I made some mistakes, so be it. After all, that's the chance an entertainer takes on any one show, so I plunged in knowing I would get wet and hoping not to drown.
I walked around the block a few times, did a set up or two, drank a beer or ten, and went for it. I did get my bass player Sill Colbert from my Damn Good Texas Sand to play with me to get a fuller, more rounded sound, and we hit it lucky. It turned out to be a beautiful central Texas day, a good crowd turned out and a great time was had by all, myself and Sill included.
Other than the usual problems of editing, we didn't have to do anything to the tapes and I can proudly say its honest. As Daddy told me years ago, "if it's not broke, dont mess with it". It wasn't and I didn't.
This CD is dedicated to my wonderful fans who are the reason I keep on keeping on. It seems to go down best with beer.
This one's for you my friends.
P.S. I'd like to thank my sweetheart, my pal, my Texas gal Susan for being with me through the thick and the thin.
|Live At Gruene Hall (CD) 1|
|2:||Damned Ol' Beer|
|3:||The Whiskey's Fine|
|4:||I Can't Drive Home|
|5:||I Can't Do That (Anymore)|
|6:||Leavin' These Honky Tonks|
|7:||I Love To Ride|
|9:||Top Of The World|
|10:||Heavy On The Blues|
|11:||Where Are The Rangers|
|13:||The Music Is Sweet|
|14:||Darkside On The Dance Floor|
|15:||The Old Cowboy|
|16:||Cowboy And The Preacher|
|17:||Texas Blue Water|
|18:||I Love Texas|