El Rio

El Rio

by Frankie Ballard


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He may trade in some Spanish lingo in its title, but El Rio finds Frankie Ballard embracing his Midwestern roots, turning out a record that's a proud throwback to the heartland rock of the '80s. Unadorned yet muscular, El Rio easily evokes the lean crackle of prime John Mellencamp, but just in case you didn't get the point, Ballard covers Bob Seger's "You'll Accomp'ny Me," the ballad providing one of few quiet moments here. Which isn't to say El Rio is all high-octane roar, either. Sure, Ballard slides into the such sensitive murmurings as the sepia-smeared "It All Started with a Beer," but the album is grounded by earthy open-road anthems -- music made for summertime drives with cruise control. If the leather coat on the cover wasn't a giveaway, Ballard does ratchet up his macho stance, leaning into his cigarette-and-whiskey growl and letting it get subsumed by guitars that both twang and howl. It's an appealing sound, one that zeroes in on the enduring appeal of classic rock, and it's also slyly versatile: the aside to Little Feat on "Southern Side" provides a gateway for a funky rhythm and "L.A. Woman" contains a widescreen splendor that's not entirely indebted to Southern California. Still, the charm of El Rio is its simplicity: with a handful of key collaborators -- including Chris Stapleton, who co-wrote "El Camino" and "Cigarette," but producer Marshall Altman is prominent here -- Ballard replicates the appeal of Scarecrow, a record that helped enshrine a certain idea of tarnished romantic Midwestern rock.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/10/2016
Label: Warner Bros / Wea
UPC: 0093624919506
catalogNumber: 555687
Rank: 56062

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Frankie Ballard   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Sean Hurley   Bass
Tim Lauer   Keyboards
Marshall Altman   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Background Vocals
Rob McNelley   Guitar
Ken Johnson   Background Vocals
Aaron Sterling   Drums
Bryan Dawley   Dobro

Technical Credits

Bob Seger   Composer
Craig Wiseman   Composer
F. Reid Shippen   Engineer
Marshall Altman   Producer,Vocal Engineer
Joe Zook   Engineer
Monty Criswell   Composer
Jimmy Yeary   Composer
Neil Mason   Composer
Brad Warren   Composer
Brett Warren   Composer
Rick Huckaby   Composer
Chris Steffen   Engineer
Jaren Johnston   Composer
Mando Saenz   Composer
Lee Thomas Miller   Composer
Jeremy Stover   Composer
Chris Stapleton   Composer
Chris Janson   Composer
Dustin Christensen   Composer
Ben Hayslip   Composer
Frankie Ballard   Composer
Jon Nite   Composer
Kip Moore   Composer
Mike Moore   Art Direction
Chris Gelbuda   Composer
Justin Bogart   Composer

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