Tuesday, March 24, 2015
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: PATRICK BALLANTYNE - DAYS OF RAIN
There are household names, and then there are secret weapons. Ballantyne has so far been the latter, but that should change some day. After all, audiences country-wide have been screaming along to his co-written hits for a decade, whether it's The Trews' Poor Ol' Broken Hearted Me, or Big Sugar's If I Had My Way and All Hell For A Basement. A gifted writer, he has made just two albums in that time, including this, which was released first last summer, and now upgraded with a new cut for larger distribution.
This collection is more introspective than those fist-pumpers he's helped write for others. Days Of Rain has a theme of dealing with loss and moving on, delivered with a lot of depth and an ambitious palette of styles. Rich and moody acoustic tracks such as Roll With It sit alongside big pop numbers, opener King Of The Road the most infectious. The harmony-rich I Follow You adds a Neil Young harmonica break to its campfire singalong feel. Throughout it all, Ballantyne proves himself a master of melody and the turn of a phrase. New track Try Love Instead adds a bit more crunch to the disc, a bluesy turn that would go well for his buddies in Big Sugar.
Ballantyne has lately been working with PEI's Tim Chaisson, no doubt a good move for that rising star. If he can save enough time for his own solo work, Ballantyne certainly deserves a wide audience.