Warner Bros. Records/Warner Music Nashville’s Frankie Ballard is making his return to NBC’s Today Show on Tuesday, June 14 to celebrate the release of his new album El Rio due out June 10. The platinum-selling recording artist also announced his official album release party set for 11pm on June 9 at aVenue. Those in attendance will be the first to receive a personally signed copy of El Rio.
“I’ve always been a guy who counts on music. I rely on it. And I’ve noticed there are a lot of other people that are like that,” Ballard recounts of his mindset when recording this album. “Now that I have the opportunity to make this album and say something, I know I have a responsibility to those people who are counting on a good album to listen and to live their lives by. And I wanted to dig in as hard as I could and take every bit of knowledge and influence and time and everything else I’ve put into music and try to put it all into this album.”
Ballard also recently had the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream when he shared the stage with the legendary Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top for a performance on Skyville Live. Other artists featured included internationally-acclaimed guitar slinger Orianthi, soulful powerhouse ZZ Ward, and songwriter and musician Mike Henderson.
His latest project El Rio is available for pre-order now and is already receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics, with Entertainment Weekly calling it his “strongest musical statement yet” and Rolling Stone including it as one of its Most Anticipated Country Albums of 2016.
The rising star will also make his return overseas this October with dates in England, Scotland, Germany, Holland and Ireland. The tour is another sign of the rockin’ Michigan native’s growing popularity.
Ballard’s first foray overseas included sold-out shows at London’s Hoxton Bar and Brooklyn Bowl. The new tour is much more ambitious with 10 dates, beginning Oct. 3 in Amsterdam. He then travels to Hamburg and Munich, Germany, before hitting Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, Brighton, London and Dublin. Each has a rich pageantry of rock ‘n’ roll history, something Ballard taps into when he writes and records his music.
El Rio, which was streamed for 24 hours exclusively on Apple Music Connect in a first-of-a-kind partnership, was recorded at the famed Sonic Ranch, just south of El Paso in Tornillo, Texas. A six-minute documentary entitled “Journey To Sonic Ranch: The Making Of El Rio” chronicles the record-making process as Ballard, his bandmates and producer Marshall Altman immersed themselves in creating the album. El Rio is Ballard’s follow up to Sunshine & Whiskey, the breakthrough album that contained three No. 1 hits and helped take the singer-songwriter to a new level of popularity.