David Ball

Freewheeler – 2004 (Wildcatter)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

CDs by David Ball

A successful country music artist ("Thinkin' Problem," "Private Malone"), David Ball was first a member of the legendary Uncle Walt's Band and has remained a part of the fringes of mainstream country either by choice or by chance ever since.

It certainly is not from lack of good material, as this latest disc demonstrates. Ball is an excellent honky tonk singer with more than a few similarities to George Strait on songs like, "Happy With the One I've Got," but his musical palette, and his vocal range, is a bit wider.

The opening cut, "Louisiana Melody," packs a near-Cajun punch, while, "Mr. Teardrop," is a dead ringer for Jerry Lee Lewis' country sides.

Ball's true talent, however, is as a storyteller - he can sell a song like few others, and he does it here on, "A Girl I Use to Know," which isn't the lost love song one might expect, but a poignant reminiscence of his own daughter, and on, "Violence And Lies," a morality tale undoubtedly sparked by recent world events.