Chip Martin,Producer, Nashville Tn. - chipsongs.com
"Rod's voice is like that of an old friend, someone you want to send time hanging out withand sharing stories"
"After years of focusing on his construction business, Rod is in a position to follow his passions. His upbeat "Gramma's Got A Lover" is loaded with sing-along audience appeal and he has a growing repertoire of songs that speak to the every-day lives of his fans."
Susan Cannon - Felicia Evita.com
"Wonderful knack for songwriting, very honest and accessible"
"I don't often meet with "new" songwriters who impress me with both their songs and their soul. It usually takes many years to cultivate a unique voice, language and style and to learn the commercial aspects of professional songwriting; to write songs that mean something to an audience, as well as the songwriter. From our first meeting, I knew that Rod Ballou had both the skill and the soul to be a hit songwriter. His ideas are fresh and universal; his language is honest; and his songs make me laugh, cry and dance -- all at the right times! "Five O'clock Shadow" is the first song we have worked on together and it has felt like a "classic hit" to me from the first time I heard it in it's rough form. The production only enhanced what was already there. I can't wait to hear more! "
Kim Copeland - Kim Copeland Productions, Nashville, Tn
"All I Need is a Road, now THAT is greatness" Texas Music Radio Show with Gary & Greybeard txmrs.com
ROD BALLOU "Where Hell Meets Highwater"
Remember that old Western flick "Cat Ballou"? Wasn't Jane Fonda hot in that movie? I digress. This 11-song ROD Ballou indie is for fans of COUNTRY music. No bubble-gum teenie-bopper gush-fest but good ol' Country Music. The production is high-end as indies go and saddles up musically pretty well with the likes of Mark Chesnutt, Clint Black, John Michael Montgomery and the like. Rod's pen had part in 8 of the 11 tracks and a good number of these songs could be big hits.The problem with the "industry" is that so many good artists are in the shadows and might never be heard. The Cooke Country page exists to try to help get some ears that might not otherwise hear and Rod's album is a good example of that.
From the first track, "All I Need Is A Road" it's apparent that there is a mash-up of vocal stylings that creates a sound of it's own. Say you throw Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and John Anderson in a mixer vocally and musically and out comes Rod Ballou. There are a few points where it seems that Rod might be holding back a little vocally but not in a way that distracts overall.
"30 Miles of Wichita" is a tune about being homesick for childhood memories and the lyrics make me feel like I was there (and here), I can totally relate. That makes a song a plus score in my book.
"Grandma's Got A Lover" is a fun ode to the fact that "the hunt" is ageless and I could see this song sparking a new geriatric line-dance craze.
The title pretty much says it all for "It's All How You Look At It." Beauty, positivity, significance is in the eye of the beholder and that's really all that matters!
"What If" is a song about dreaming about what if being what is. Longing for home and settling down while miles away on the road running around to make it.
"100 Beers Ago" is an uptempo down song about drinking away pain. The 100 beers is over time, of course! I'd hate to see the guy who downed that many suds in one sitting!
"I'll Turn The Lights Out" is a VERY sad song about being the last one to close the door on a relationship that time and circumstance has killed. Broken relationship, broken dreams leading to an empty house and a heart full of emptiness. This should be on the radio! Might make folks think twice.
I can sure relate to "Broke Ain't Fun!" It's about the American Dream being the American wish and the struggle/reality in-between. Anybody who struggles with getting by will get it!
"Five O' Clock Shadow" is another song that should be on the radio. A tender and clever song about the relationship of a father and son.
The title track, "Where Hell Meets Highwater" is a rockin' swamp Blues song about evaluating dead ends, being responsible and getting your shit together before it's too late.
The collection closes out with an acoustic version of "What If" as a nice encore.
For the most part, when listening to music, I have my iPod set to shuffle and I already had some Rod Ballou songs on there but I'm glad that I was sent the CD to listen to as a complete album. Made me consider taking more time to listen to complete works rather than just letting artists get bounced around in the shuffle.
Check out Rod's site (rodballoumusic.com) for samples and more than likely you will want to snag the physical CD, download the album or even download individual songs. My recommendation is to get the whole set! My ipod is currently maxed out so I will have to start making new room for new stuff but I guarantee that "Where Hell Meets Righwater" is a keeper!
~JAC~ Cooke Country