Sparkle City (E1)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Aug. 13, 2010
David BallSparkle City (E1)
Nationally, David Ball's known as a country traditionalist who had a couple of songs hit the charts. Locally, he's best remembered as a member of Uncle Walt's Band, the none-of-the-above band that also featured Walter Hyatt and Champ Hood. Sparkle City, his first disc in three years, finds him mingling the two with mixed results. With the help of some prime Nashville pickers dubbed the Pioneer Playboys, he glides between swing, honky-tonk, blues, and even a touch of Tex-Mex with the ease of George Strait, the difference being Ball composes his own material. The Latin-tinged "Just Along for the Ride," sunny "On Top of the World," and romantic optimism of closer "So Long" are among the best songs he's ever written, nicely offsetting goofy penis joke "Hot Water Pipe" and the forced wordplay of "Tulsa." Even then, Ball's easygoing country is a smooth and welcome tonic, sure to satisfy those looking for the real thing.