In this week's episode we're featuring the second album (of three) for Michigan's Larry Ballard: "Honky Tonk Heaven Is A Hell Of A Place To Be" (1976). "Discovered" and produced by the legendary Pete Drake, there is precious little information out there about Larry Ballard's three albums for Capitol in the 70s. The second of those, however, features some of the finest country singer/songwriter material you've never heard of. With audible ties to multiple genres a la Gary Stewart of the same era, it's no surprise to learn Ballard has a background in rock 'n' roll. Once the switch to country came, Drake assembled a fine studio group to back Larry Ballard and the steel strains of Paul Franklin are simply delightful. Pictured in a cafe corner booth on the front of the album nursing a half-empty beer, cigarette in hand staring wistfully out the window, such classic country imagery doesn't lead us astray: "Honky Tonk Heaven" has plenty to like for listeners willing to dig past the big names in the record bin.. and it makes you wonder why Ballard seemingly disappeared after 1977.