Ben Ballinger makes roots music with an emotional depth and songwriting mastery rarely heard on the Americana scene. A balladeer in the truest sense, Ballinger comes off as a craftsman, building fine-tuned melodies out of roughhewn passions. Ballinger mines every bit of his existence, a lifetime worth of triumph and disappointment and discovery, panning through the spiritual silt for a golden truth.
Another from-the-hip melodic twist, another gut-wrenching insight, and one more late-night starry-eyed rhythm and rhyme.
After digging deep into the Austin, Texas scene for the past few years, Ballinger easily stands out among the pack of would-be Country soulmen with an undeniably genuine Northwest brogue and the kind of hardscrabble lyrical chops that can only come from experience, solitude and struggle.
Ballinger consistently achieves what all troubadours aim for—he tells us his story, while letting it be our story.
Like a prism breaking a beam of white light into its multitudinous parts, Sam Cooper's poetic, metaphorically-dense songs unwind on his truly solo album "Long Lost Love." Complex layers of self-harmony are backed by his own performances on a dozen multi-tracked instruments. He takes the phrase “multi-instrumentalist” to impressive excess: guitars, piano, violin, accordion, banjo, bass, organ, mandolin and even the charango (a kind of Andean lute).
On stage, away from the technological alchemy of the CD, the focus is narrowed instead to the most personal level – connecting and communing with an audience through flannel-clad humor, musical challenges, sing-alongs and of course, stellar musicianship. It’s a night of pure entertainment, where Sam Cooper, the consummate entertainer, engages and delights the audience with a natural kind of charisma and charm.