Thursday, May 21, 2015
Lander Ballard Hightime Free Wind Records 1977
As far as I can tell, Lander Ballard is still making music, much more in the new country "Merica" tradition down in his home town of Wichita, KS. You can YouTube it and see all the macho country he's doing currently.
This LP is far better than what you can find online. He put out this LP in 1977 and a second a decade later on his own Free Wind Records label. While I haven't heard the 1987 LP, this is worth searching out and is relatively cheap. It's pretty low-key singer/songwriter stuff that takes moves from Billy Joel and other popular songwriters of the 70's as well as all that slick yacht rock that was going on. It's not as smooth or as polished as the yacht rock hits of the late-70's, it's just got the overriding influences.
If it it has to be categorized, it's hippie-folk. Ballard was into some new-age mysticism (and probably marijuana) and it shows throughout the album. The song "Ch'i (Natural Energy)" kind of speaks for itself. That song actually kind of sucks, but there are some definite highlights. The Joel influenced "Song for an Aging Minstrel" is pretty fun as is "Rock and Roll Man." The rest is uptempo, gentle melodies, that Ballard sings over the top of with a soft set of pipes. For a private LP out of Wichita, production is surprisingly good. Packaging is also top-notch, cover art is kinda cool and there's a nice little lyric book included.