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Country’s Ballard to make Billings debut
Friday, Oct. 28, 8 p.m. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.
When Frankie Ballard was growing up in Battle Creek, Mich., his father played him one classic album over and over again: Marty Robbins’ “Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs,” which featured Robbins’ signature hit “El Paso.” Now Ballard, a guitarist and rough-hewn singer, has cut his own metaphorical gunfighter album, decamping from Nashville to a gritty El Paso studio to record the follow-up to his 2014 breakout “Sunshine & Whiskey.”
For Ballard, who scored three consecutive No. 1 singles off “Sunshine & Whiskey” — “Helluva Life,” the title track and “Young & Crazy” — it was imperative that he leave behind the safety of Nashville for the wilds of the Mexico border. Setting up shop at the famed Sonic Ranch, just south of El Paso in Tornillo, Texas, Ballard and his band threw themselves headlong into the music, eating and sleeping at the studio. Their goal: Make a bona fide album.
“I grew up listening to albums and I loved them as bodies of work,” says Ballard. “But today, everyone cuts singles. Even ‘Sunshine & Whiskey’ was recorded in chunks. We’d go into one studio, cut four, then go into another studio and cut another four. It’s groovus interruptus, man.”
Trout Steak Revival brings the bluegrass
Friday, Nov. 11, 9 p.m. Tickets for the age-21-plus show are $8 in advance and $12 at the door.
Trout Steak Revival has earned a place in the mountain states bluegrass scene — performing to sold-out audiences, winning the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, placing in the 2012 Rockygrass Band Competition, and even winning an Emmy Award for a soundtrack with Rocky Mountain PBS. Their new album, “Brighter Every Day,” was released in March 2015. Produced by Chris Pandolfi of the Infamous Stringdusters, the album has received radio play and acclaim around the world.
Rabbit Wilde joining Shooks for show
Friday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m. Tickets for the all-ages show are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.
Born and raised in Sandpoint, Idaho, Shook Twins are an indie folk-pop band based in Portland, Ore. Identical twins Katelyn and Laurie Shook and Niko Daoussis form the band’s core. Central to Shook Twins’ sound is their wide range of instrumentation: banjo, acoustic and electric guitars, electric bass, mandolin, electronic drums, face drum (beatbox), glockenspiel, ukulele, banjo-head drumming and their signature “Golden Egg.” Beautiful twin harmonies, layered upon acoustic and electric instrumentation, coupled with Laurie’s inventive use of percussive and ambient vocal loops, and Katelyn’s repurposed telephone microphone, set their sound apart, creating a unique and eccentric blend of folk, roots, groove and soul.
Though all four members of Rabbit Wilde grew up running around wooded areas of the same small town in the farthest Northwest corner of Washington state, brothers Zach and Nathan Hamer didn’t meet Miranda Zickler, the third founding member, until they had all ended up in New York City. The group revamps classic string-band instrumentation with homespun percussion and the unique integration of six-string ukulele and Jillian Walker on cello.
Mauss to deliver stand-up comedy
Shane Mauss, Saturday, Nov. 19, 8 p.m. Tickets for the all-ages show are $14 in advance, $17 at the door or $82 for a reserved table for four.
Originally from Wisconsin, Shane Mauss caught his first break when he was awarded ‘Best Stand-Up” at The HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in 2007. This led to his TV debut and first of five appearances on “Conan.”
Since then he’s appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and Showtime, and in a Comedy Central Presents special and the Netflix special “Mating Season.” Most recently, he’s released an album inspired by breaking both of his feet in a hiking mishap called ‘My Big Break’ which spent time at No. 1 on the comedy iTunes charts.