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David Ball's love of music sparkles

By Ryan C. Perry rperry@news-journal.com
Aug. 22, 2012 at 11 p.m.


As the Pioneer Playboys warmed up the crowd at the Texas Players Club with a couple of songs, David Ball watched from offstage, just out of the view of capacity crowd.

As he stood with his acoustic guitar, he wasn't just waiting for his spot to join the band on stage - he was eagerly enjoying the music.

That joy of music, whether his classic country style or not, is apparent in his recorded music and live shows. His latest release, "Sparkle City," features some of his best work to date, and the album draws from a wide variety of sounds while not losing his distinct, folk-influenced style.

Complimenting Ball's diverse songwriting prowess, The Pioneer Playboys displayed a mastery of several genres.

Guitarist Troy Cook Jr. is showcased as a guitar historian with his complex, yet not flashy use of the entire fretboard. With the diversity of sounds, Cook easily could lead bands featured on several radio formats.

Bass player Steve Ledford and drummer Scott Metko strike the perfect balance of showcasing talent and knowledge without drawing attention away from the songs.

The small, four-piece band is right at home in dance halls with their ability to draw people out to the floor for a two step.

And while David Ball and the Pioneer Playboys have the ability to write their own ticket, they have shucked off doing what is commercially popular to play music they love, and the love shines in their concerts and albums.

<strong>Check out this track:</strong> "What'll I Do If I Don't Have You?" starts with an impossibly catchy, folksy guitar piece and builds with an arrangement of vocals, strings and piano to create a song you'll be pleased to have stuck in your head.

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