Some of the most enjoyable concerts are the ones that leave the concert-goer with a new album to love and/or a new layer of appreciation for an artist. Concerts build a relationship between the artist and the listener.

It is exciting to see someone live for the first time. Unaware of what expect, the first time is special because songs are never the same again after they are seen done  in a live setting. With those things in mind, Frankie Ballard left us wanting more after our first time at one of his shows! I must say we, those in accompaniment to his concert in the Old City Courtyard in Knoxville, never expected such a show. What a performer he is, one that is underrated.

A black leather jacket, bouncy locks that seem to fall back in place regardless of the movement he makes, a red bandana in one back pocket, veins peeking through the muscles in his forearms, bohemian-tribal rings adorn his strong hands, cuffed jeans, rugged bone structure. Often taking the stance of a bad boy: one leg up on a set piece. Something like a James Dean reincarnate. 

Frankie has created a bad-boy, soul, country rock-n-roll persona to bring his songs to life on stage. He knows what he is doing, each move he makes is as if to get a reaction from the crowd- one that he knows he can get. He gets on his knees and begs his lyrics and also incorporates covers into his set that make songs of the past sound new again (such as a fantastic cover of “Hound Dog” as well as “Ain’t To Proud to Beg” by the Temptations). His charm is unbelievably persuasive.

“El Rio”


Much of his set was comprised of new songs off of his latest album entitled “El Rio”. The songs featured on the new album are dripping with Western/desert imagery flavored with Frankie’s sex appeal. Individually the songs are good, but the album as a whole is where the magic is. It is special when an artist can craft together a cohesive theme for an entire album; “El Rio”, in some contexts, could be described as a concept album.

Notable songs on “El Rio” to check out:

“El Camino”

“Little Bit of Both”

“L.A. Woman”

“Sweet Time”

concert photo gems + rad merch:

concert video gems:

Due to the bad lighting, decent videos of the concert were nearly impossible + too much dancing to be videoing.