Show scheduled Friday at Texas Club
Country singer Frankie Ballard’s latest single, “Helluva Life,” is a feel-good ode to good times and simple joys. It’s also his highest charting song yet.
Millions of TV viewers heard “Helluva Life,” which is nearing the Top 20, earlier this month during an episode of ABC’s “Nashville.”
“I know a lot of people watch that show, so I know a lot of people heard my song,” Ballard said. “Yeah, that was really cool.”
“Helluva Life” is the first single from the singer’s upcoming second album, “Sunshine and Whiskey,” to be released Feb. 11.
Marshall Altman, whose previous projects include soulful Acadiana singer-songwriter Marc Broussard’s 2004 album, “Carencro,” produced “Sunshine and Whiskey.”
“I was really turned on by that swamp feeling in ‘Carencro’,” Ballard said. “That kind of production that Marshall puts together is missing from country music. It’s something I wanted to capture.”
The days and months Altman gave Ballard and “Sunshine and Whiskey” is another reason the Michigan-born singer enjoyed working with the formerly Los Angeles-based producer.
“Self-discovery takes time but it’s hard to get a lot of time with a producer,” the singer said. “But Marshall had an open door policy. I’d go over to his place late at night, early in the morning, whenever. He just said, ‘Come on.’ That really helped sell me on him.”
Ballard is delighted with the results of his and Altman’s collaboration, the product of 18 months in the studio.
“I wanted to make a new sound, my sound,” he said. “We worked really hard and I think we found something special. I’ve developed a signature sound. So I’m excited about people hearing it and hope it’s just the beginning.”
Ballard and his band are busting out many of his new songs on the road.
“It’s such a great proving ground,” he said. “Fans will be honest with you. You can see it in their faces whether or not you’re on to something. I’m really excited to see what my friends down in the South think of this new stuff.”
The singer’s Friday show at the Texas Club is a return engagement to the Baton Rouge venue. But this time he’s the headlining act, after previously opening there for Tracy Lawrence and Uncle Kracker.
“I really love that place,” Ballard said. “It’s got a great country-music, honky-tonk, old-school vibe.”
Ballard also performed at the 2013 Bayou Country Superfest at Tiger Stadium in May.
“That was an incredible experience,” he said. “That stadium is really something to behold.”
A road hog, the singer doesn’t like spending lots of time in Nashville.
“I need to be out on the road,” he said. “That’s the way I’m wired. I’m almost at home on the road, so I stay as busy as possible.
“Nashville is a great place, Music City, U.S.A., but I feel like you can get lost there sometimes. You gotta keep the pulse of the people, which is out away from Nashville. The pulse is on the road, in bars and clubs and places like the Texas Club.”