David Ball

Posted in MusicWorld on January 2, 2002 by

David Ball knows the power of a song. His major label career was launched like a rocket back in 1994 when he released "Thinkin' Problem," the title track to his debut album. That honky-tonk smash topped the charts and birthed a platinum-plus album that saw two more of its songs, "Look What Followed Me Home" and "When The Thought of You Catches Up With Me," also hit the top spot, winning BMI Country Awards and garnering Ball Grammy and ACM nominations for Male Vocalist of the Year, as well as CMA Horizon and Song of the Year nominations.

Seven years later, the Spartanburg, South Carolina native has done it again, this time with "Riding With Private Malone," a song from his brand new DualTone label release Amigo (produced by Wood Newton). Written by Wood and Thom Shepherd, "Private Malone" tells the tale of a Corvette passed down from one G.I. to another, and has captured the hearts and imaginations of country music lovers all across the nation. And Ball is realizing the dreams of many an independent artist as well by having one of a very few independent label releases breaking the major-label stranglehold on country radio: "Private Malone" has reached the Top Ten on all three charts.

As a '70s music hero in the Austin-based and much heralded Uncle Walt's Band, the bassist and pure-tenor vocalist knew he had a strong fan base on which to continue his career after his days with Warner Bros. were done. Ball set out to go to his market with the kind of music he and his fans love, and on Amigo, he's true to his roots with numbers ranging from Texas dancehall to western swing and Tex-Mex country, with nuances of that South Carolina Soul and even a jazz shading or two.

Perhaps part of the genial Ball's secrets to success is a no-holds-barred approach to songwriting. "My only goal is that when I finish a song, I gotta like it," says the redheaded preacher's son. "I don't have any rules or any doors; there's nothing I won't try."