HEYBALE! SET TO RELEASE THE LAST COUNTRY ALBUM ON JUNE 17
ALL-STAR AUSTIN BAND’S NEW CD ON SHUFFLE 5 RECORDS
AUSTIN, TX – Shuffle 5 Records proudly announces a June 17 release date for The Last Country Album, the debut studio CD from Heybale!, distributed nationally by Burnside Distribution.
Heybale! has been performing its brand of honky-tonkin’ country music to packed houses and dance floors every Sunday night for the past seven years at Austin’s Continental Club - and with good reason. Legendary piano player Earl Poole Ball recorded and toured with Johnny Cash for 25 years, played with Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and Gram Parsons and recorded with The Byrds on their seminal country-rock album Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Guitarist extraordinaire Redd Volkaert was a member of Merle Haggard’s band for over six years, also played with Dale Watson and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance with Brad Paisley in 2004. They are joined by the rhythm section of Kevin Smith on stand-up bass and Tom Lewis on drums. Smith, an original member of the renowned rockabilly band High Noon, currently tours with Dwight Yoakam. Lewis was an original member of the Wagoneers, and toured and recorded with Junior Brown and Hank Thompson. He also currently plays with Raul Malo. Singer/rhythm guitarist Gary Claxton hails from Oklahoma and has been singing in clubs around California, Nashville, and Texas for the past 20 years. Blessed with a pure country voice, Claxton’s has been called by many since he arrived in Austin as the best country singer-songwriter in a town full of great ones.
Heybale! released two prior albums: ContinentaLive was recorded at the Continental Club during the band’s Sunday night residency, with Erik Hokkanen as guest; and Live From 1-A was recorded live in the KUT studios in Austin with the late, great Jim Murphy on steel.
The Last Country Album was self-produced and recorded at Bruce Robison’s Premium Studios and mixed by Raul Malo and Evan York at Chicken Hill Studios in Nashville. Claxton, Ball and Volkeart share lead vocals throughout the album. Joining in on the fun is an all-star cast of Austin’s finest, including Cindy Cashdollar, Erik Hokannen, Elana James and Casper Rawls. The CD’s organic, spontaneous sound is due in part to the fact that many of the songs were recorded live in one room with a cast of nine musicians all performing together. Hokannen’s instrumental, “Heybalin’,” is a honky-tonk, western swing thrill ride with everyone kickin’ things up several notches in the pickin’ department. On the rowdy “Everything … About Drinking,” written and sung by Earl Poole Ball, ex-Maverick Raul Malo and rock and roll drumming legend Hunt Sales contribute to the backing vocal cadre.
Heybale! will help celebrate the release of The Last Country Album with a number of Texas shows, as well as special performances at New York City’s Hill Country Barbecue on May 31st and June 1st.
For more information, visit www.heybale.com and www.myspace.com/heybaletheband.