You may know Danny Balis as the (now former) bassist for Sorta, or more recently as a member of the honky-tonk-approved group the King Bucks. Or, offstage, as the longtime producer of The Hardline on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket. My favorite incarnation is the most recent, as a solo performer of rainy-day country music. Not alt-country or any other hybrid of the genre: just no-frills, cowboy hat C&W, the kind of stuff he — and I — grew up on. (One of my mom’s favorite albums? A greatest-hits disc from Don Williams, one of the spiritual godfathers of Balis’ solo material.)
Balis releases his solo debut, Too Much Living, on September 1. You can get it early if you go to the Granada Theater on August 21, when Balis opens for local legends Slobberbone. Full press release apres-jump.
Former Sorta Band Member Releases First Solo Album
DALLAS–July 10, 2009–Danny Balis, former bassist and one of the founding members of Dallas-based band Sorta, will release his first solo album, Too Much Living, Sept. 1, 2009. The recording will be available beginning Sept. 1 on all popular digital download sites (iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, etc.), with CDs available in stores, and for sale online through Balis’ and MySpace pagewww.goodrecords.com.
Too Much Living may seem like a departure from what Sorta fans are accustomed to, as it is a straight up, old school, country and western record — a fresh mixture of Merle Haggard, Townes Van Zandt, and Don Williams. Entirely written and recorded following the tragic death of his best friend Carter Albrecht, Balis draws from the dark side of country music, exploring self destruction, love lost, and the effects of grief. A few reviews from Balis’ contemporaries are already in:
“I grew up listening to country music, so Too Much Living is a nostalgic listen for me. While country music today sounds like a hallmark card gone bad, sung with a southern drawl, Danny is true to the heart of classic country music.”
–Eric Pulido, Midlake
“Danny’s got this smooth, rich, authentic country voice that goes down as easy as a fine wine. A throwback, Danny is at home on a honky tonk stage, a young man with an old soul. Too Much Living is pure, genuine American country music, a body of work that comes straight from the heart.”
“Too Much Living is a great record. It recalls my favorite, old-time country, yet still feels fresh. Danny Balis is the real deal.”
–Rhett Miller, The Old 97’s
Too Much Living’s first single, “Tethered”, will be released August 1st to Texas country radio, online on Balis’ MySpace page, plus various music blog sites, such as Dallas Observer’s DC9 at Night, FinelineLive.com, and GorillavsBear.net.
A CD release show is scheduled for Aug. 21 at the Granada Theater in Dallas at 9 p.m., in support of Slobberbone (Denton, Texas). The CD will be available for the first time at this event.