Is this a showcase? Are you trying to get a deal? You know any New Country songs? Unsupported, the band disbanded and all went their separate ways. Cut to the spring of 2000. Tom Lewis moves back to Austin and discovers that Redd has moved there as well as Earl Poole Ball, the legendary piano man for Johnny Cash. He also encounters Gary Claxton, yet another frustrated singer/songwriter he met while living in Nashville.
The nucleus of the band was reformed. Steve Werthiemer, owner of the Continental, offered sunday nights to Heybale! and they’ve been there filling the dancefloor ever since. Heybale! have released two live albums. ContinentaLive was recorded at the Continental during the band’s sunday night residency with Erik Hokkanen as guest.
Live From 1-A was recorded live in the KUT studios with the late great Jim Murphy on steel. He played with the band for two years and lifted the level of their performance to what it is now. The new album, The Last Country Album was recorded at Bruce Robison’s Premium studios with an all-star cast including Cindy Cashdollar, Erik Hokannen, Elana James and Casper Rawls. It showcases the original material introduced by Redd, Gary and Earl which tend to sound right at home next to revered classics such as Willie Nelson’s Mr.
Record Man. Many of the songs were recorded live in one room with a cast of 9 musicians all performing together. The instrumental, Heybalin’, was composed outside the studio by the multi talented Hokkanen just moments before it was arranged and recorded in the studio. It is this spontanaity and urgency that make The Last Country Album a very compelling piece of music to appease the ears.
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