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David Ball - "Amigo
Album Review by: Cheryl Harvey Hill 

"Amigo", David Ball's new album, is the first release of the new Arcaro/Dual Tone Nashville label and is being produced by Wood Newton. 

 You can put away the Prozac, friend ... you aren't going to need anything more than listening to the thirteen songs on "Amigo" to lift your spirits and restore your faith in the ability of Nashville to produce great country music today.

Ball burst onto the country music scene in 1994 with a smash-hit single and album that country.com referred to as "a brilliant breath of pure countrified air" and he has continued that brilliance with each successive album. Thinkin' Problem went  platinum and racked up Grammy, Academy of Country Music, and Country Music Association nominations.  Starlite Lounge came next and then Play ... both were enthusiastically embraced by critics and fans alike, but not by radio.  "Amigo" is about to change all that!  My guess is that Loser Friendly (in an era when everyone is looking for a computer that is "user friendly") with its catchy lyrics and a playful, toe-tappin' tune that stays in your mind long after you turn the CD player off,  just might be the next Thinkin' Problem

David Ball personifies the phrase "country traditionalist." His new album is true to the Opry sound that inspired him as a youngster and the honky tonks that refined him as a young adult.   Amigo is an easy listening, more comfortable than the old afghan granny made for you, flash-back to the country sound that has always been produced by the true legends of country.  There isn't one song on this album that wouldn't be right at home on the Grand Ole Opry stage. It is the easy-goin', reach out and grab your heart and soul, voice of Ball that makes this the perfect tribute to traditional country.  Chet and Minnie are smiling for sure.

Ball manages to get a tight grip on our hearts with Riding With Private Malone.   This ballad is certain to strike a chord with everyone, but especially with those who have sent soldiers off to war -- never to see them again.   There is something for everyone on this CD.  The lilting waltz Just Out Of Reach will delight your classic, musical soul while the instrumental "Shiner Polka" is sure to get  your spirit singing and your toes tapping. You will be instantly transported to a Texas honky-tonk with the dynamic Linger Awhile and Trying Not To Love You  while the salsa-flavored "She Always Talked About Mexico" will leave you craving margaritas. No David Ball album would be complete without at least one gripping, tears-in-your beer, ballad like When Ever You Come Back To Me.  Amigo is a must have addition to your CD collection.  From first song to last, you will feel the music and it feels really, really good.  

No techno flash here -- just solid lyrics and masterful instrumentals pulled, effortlessly, together with a voice that is the epitome of pure country.  Ever the consummate songwriter and musician, perhaps Ball said it best on his last album when he sang "I'm Just A Country Boy."  Yep, he surely is ... and thank God for that! 
-- Cheryl Harvey Hill


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