In this week's episode, we're featuring the twangy breakout album from David Ball, "Thinkin' Problem" (1994). After earning respect from countless musical quarters and partly kick-starting the alt-country movement from his time with Uncle Walt's Band in the 70s and 80s, David Ball was encouraged to move to Nashville and pursue country music after hearing Randy Travis on the radio in about 1986. Eight years later, including a false start with RCA Records - producer Blake Chancey liked what he heard, and Ball cut "Thinkin' Problem" with Warner Brothers to great success. Our feature album sold a million copies at a time when the neo-traditional movement was on the wane, and spawned a Top 5, Top 10, Top 20 and two further singles. Ball's hardcore honky tonk sound appealed to country fans, and it was original music too - he wrote or co-wrote nine of "Thinkin' Problems" ten tracks, opting to include a Webb Pierce cover to round out the album cuts to let listeners know where he was coming from musically. The album stands the test of time, too: highlights include the pun-a-licious "Blowin' Smoke", the alluring neon nurses in "Honky Tonk Healin'" and a strangely uptempo crawler "Don't Think Twice". Years later, when Ball was asked if he ever got sick of playing "Thinkin' Problem" live, he answered emphatically: 'Hell, no. I think it's one of the best country songs I've ever heard." Well said!
- If That Ain't Country
- David Ball - Thinkin' Problem
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