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Musician

Charlie Ballantine

“There’s this sound I hear in my head, I get really close, but I can never quite attain it. It's hard to say, it’s hard to verbalize, but it's a pretty fun time to be a guitar a young guitar player right now.” An arc of mystery and music stretches across America like a vein of gold, an eternal blue highway that grows mired in fable as time both adds to and erases it. What Greil Marcus called “the old, weird America” can be heard in the music of Robert Johnson and Santo and Johnny and Tammy Wynette and Duane Allman, from the dark underbelly birthed in New Orleans that extends across the plains from Bakersfield, California, to Macon, Georgia; from Roscoe Holcomb’s “high lonesome sound” to Bob Dylan’s “wild mercury sound.” And it can most definitely be heard in the reflective, lightning-flash-of-brilliance that is the music of 29-year-old Charlie Ballantine. Born in the American heartland of Indianapolis, Indiana, Ballantine’s quicksilver guitar is all Fender Telecaster flux and flow, Deluxe Reverb danger and drive

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Article: Interview

Meet BlueStem Jazz's Dave Stone & Thomas Ferrella

Read "Meet BlueStem Jazz's Dave Stone & Thomas Ferrella" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Since 2016, and even through the pandemic of 2020, jny: Madison Wisconsin has hosted a steady stream of improvisational music concerts. The majority of these are thanks to the organization named after Wisconsin's native grass, BlueStem Jazz. Founded by two retired professionals and melophiles this non-profit, award-winning establishment is dedicated to promoting and hosting a wide ...

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Article: Album Review

Charlie Ballantine: Vonnegut

Read "Vonnegut" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Indianapolis-based guitarist/composer Charlie Ballantine took his inspiration from iconic American novelist Kurt Vonnegut for this project, the most complex set of music in his already lengthy and varied recording career. He was joined by fellow Indianapolis musicians: saxophonist Rob Dixon, saxophonist/clarinetist Amanda Gardier, pianist Mina Keohane, bassist Jesse Wittman and drummer Cassius Goens. Dixon, Gardier and ...

Album

Vonnegut

Label: Green Mind Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Sympathy for Malachi Constant; The Mind of Dwayne Hoover; Eloise Metzger; Unk; Kilgore in Timequake; No Damn Cat, No Damn Cradle; Space Wanderer; Kilgore in Breakfast of Champions; So It Goes.

Album

Cold Coffee

Label: Self Produced
Released: 2019
Track listing: Strange Idea; Zani; Cold Coffee; My One and Only Love; Further; East of the Sun; Bliss; Moon City.

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Article: Album Review

Charlie Ballantine: Cold Coffee

Read "Cold Coffee" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Indianapolis-born jazz guitarist/composer Charlie Ballantine has a special relationship with American music of all kinds: jazz, folk, the blues (his father was a blues guitarist, providing some of Ballantine's earliest musical memories) and contemporary rock. His previous album Life Is Brief: The Music Of Bob Dylan (Green Mind Records, 2018) made the inspiration outside of jazz ...

Album

Life is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan

Label: Green Mind Records
Released: 2018
Track listing: The Times They Are a-Changin'; The Death of Emmett Till; She Belongs to Me; Masters of War; The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll; It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding); Don't Think Twice, It's Alright; A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall; Shelter from the Storm; Tears of Rage; One More Cup of Coffee; I Shall Be Released.

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Article: Year in Review

Mark Sullivan's Best Releases of 2018

Read "Mark Sullivan's Best Releases of 2018" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


2018 was another year with too many favorites to choose from. I'm struck by the number of “extended ensembles" on my list: groups of eight or more, including a chamber orchestra plus jazz group. It was also an exceptionally good year for RareNoiseRecords, making it hard for me to stop at three albums. This list is ...

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Article: Radio

James Hall More: Than Just a Trombone

Read "James Hall More: Than Just a Trombone" reviewed by Nick Davies


This show features an interview with trombonist James Hall where we discuss his new album Lattice which is out on Outside in Music as well as other hot topics. We also follow the theme of good music so expect to hear all types of jazz featuring the likes of Miles Davis and Chick Corea

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Article: Album Review

Charlie Ballantine: Life is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan

Read "Life is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Indianapolis-based guitarist/composer Charlie Ballantine has included a wide range of covers on his previous albums. Providence (Self Produced, 2016) included Leonard Cohen's modern anthem “Hallelujah" and Tom Waits' “Temptation." Where Is My Mind? (Self Produced, 2017) had the title tune from the Pixies and Sun Kil Moon's “Carissa," plus the traditional “Wayfaring Stranger." But the bulk ...


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