Archive for Heybale

Video of the Week: Earl Poole Ball and the Cosmic Americans

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , on July 29, 2010 by 30daysout

You may have never heard of Earl Poole Ball, but you’ve probably heard Earl Poole Ball.   For more than 20 years, he was Johnny Cash’s pianist, and he has played with Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, Linda Ronstadt, Rick Nelson, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, among others.  Remember the song “You’re Still On My Mind,” from the Byrds’ 1968 country-rock classic Sweetheart of the Rodeo?  That’s Earl playing piano.

Earl’s lived in Austin for many years, and he divides his time between two bands – Heybale, a great country outfit with Merle’s ex-guitarist Redd Volkaert, plays every Sunday at the Continental Club; and Earl Poole Ball and the Cosmic Americans, another sweet band with guitarist Casper Rawls and singer Jodi Adair.  Here’s EPB&TCAs, doing a little Johnny Cash shuffle at Austin’s Saxon Pub … close your eyes and picture yourself in the club for happy hour.

Earl Poole Ball & the Cosmic Americans MySpace page

Heybale MySpace page

Odds and Ends

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2008 by 30daysout


Today we catch up with all the junk cluttering our in-box.  First, a couple of reissues: Blondie‘s Parallel Lines 30th anniversary set, and War from U2.  Blondie was one of the first American punk bands to make an impact at New York’s club CBGB, and they were probably the first to top the charts.  When Parallel Lines came out in 1978, Blondie was a slightly different band with a few more musicians but the spotlight remained on lead singer Deborah Harry.  And rightly so – Harry was an ultra-hot ex-model who put a beautiful face and a not-bad voice on these polished not-so-punk tunes.  “Heart Of Glass,” with its thumping disco beat, hit No. 1 on the charts.  And rockers “Hanging On The Telephone” and “One Way Or Another” were worthy follow-ups.  Anyhow, the 30th anniversary reissue of Parallel Lines includes extra oddities like a French-language version of “Sunday Girl” and remixes of some of the other songs on the album.  Oddly, they didn’t include the original (non-disco) version of “Heart Of Glass,” which appeared on previous CD reissues of the album.  Toss in a DVD of videos and you have a so-so package.  Unless you don’t already own the album that kicked off American New Wave, you can pass this one up.

MP3: “One Way Or Another” by Blondie

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Texas Music, August Edition

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 11, 2008 by 30daysout

Greetings from the ol’ Lone Star State!  Today let’s take a look at some new music coming out of these parts:

Okkervil River make their home in Austin, despite being named after a Russian short story.  Their newest, The Stand Ins, comes out this September.  “Pop Lie” is an early taste from this indie rock outfit.

The Toadies, from Fort Worth, broke up in 2001 but they’re baaaaaack, with a new album, No Deliverance, a tour and some nice new rock sounds.  Surely you remember the alt-rock hit “Possum Kingdom” …

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Review: “The Last Country Album,” Heybale!

Posted in Review with tags , , , on June 30, 2008 by 30daysout

It’s no secret that Austin, Texas, is a town full of veteran pickers and players.  One of the best things you can do, for example, is visit the Continental Club for a Sunday evening performance by Heybale!, the pure country unit headed by guitarist Redd Volkaert and pianist Earl Poole Ball.  The Last Country Album is Heybale’s (let’s just drop the exclamation point from here on) first studio effort, and it’s mighty fine for a Saturday – or any other – night.  The first thing that hits you here is these musicians certainly know their way around a country song: Ball is the honky tonk piano player who worked with Johnny Cash and Buck Owens, as well as the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers.  Volkaert played for years behind Merle Haggard in the Strangers; vocalist Gary Claxton is a mere pup by contrast but his whiskey-soaked voice is perfect in this company. 

Many of the songs are originals, the highlights include Ball’s “Honky Tonk Mood,” which will certainly put you in one, “Everything … About Drinking,” and the instrumental “Heybalin’.”  Redd croaks the lead vocal on “Step Aside” in his unique singing voice.  And “Let’s Go To Mexico” puts you in a cantina on the Texas-Mexico border.  If you are a fan of real country music, I can’t recommend this album enough.  Just about as far removed from current Nashville country product as you can get, The Last Country Album could very well be the last country album … but let’s hope not.  For one, I am going to want to hear as much Heybale as I can.

MP3: “Honky Tonk Mood”

Heybale! official website