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/// ON TOUR


WEST MICHIGAN COWBOY W


| by Jamie Linari


E ST MI CH IGAN HASN’T been the birth place of many cowboys, but don’t tell that to


Frankie Ballard. Regardless of where he spent the better half of his life, he’s got a twang in his voice and a soul that sings country western music. The first time REVUE spoke


with Ballard, he was a country music hopeful putting in his time at local bars and making connections during his monthly trips to Nashville. Now, three years later, Ballard has two singles on the country music charts and has been eagerly anticipating the May 24 release of his self-titled debut album. “[I’m] blessed with opportuni-


ties,” Ballard said of his recent rise to the top. “[I am] always just working as hard as I can, staying busy and do-


ing everything I can possibly do to make things happen.” Even though he said he is excited


about his new home in Nashville, Ballard misses the vibe and the atmo- sphere that can only be found in West Michigan. He also often thinks of his fans that followed him to the small bars and honkey tonks when he was still trying to get noticed. “They were with me


when I was struggling. I definitely have a special place in my heart for them.” In the eyes of


first tour bus, I had finally made it, or when I first heard my song on the radio I’d feel like I’d made it. But now those things have happened, I’m still just looking ahead and have goals. It’s so hard for me to settle and just feel like I’ve made it, there is still a lot of work for me to do.” But on the eve of


FRANKIE BALLARD B93 Birthday Bash June 18-19, gates open at 10 a.m., concerts begin at 12 p.m.


FREE! b93.com, (616) 459-1919


Ballard’s fans, he’s made it to cowboy stardom, but he finds it hard to accept he’s made it to the top. “I’m always looking ahead. I told myself a while ago, when I was on my


the release of his first album, there is no deny- ing Ballard is proud of all he’s accomplished as an artist. The self-titled album is a mixture of country sounds, rock, blues and impressive guitar handiwork.


“There’s a lot of stuff on it; a lot


of guitar pickin’. I’m so excited and so thankful to get it out. I’m really excited to see what people think.” n


54 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2011


SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE


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