Happy Balky and the Good Livin'
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Happy Balky and the Good Livin'

Saratoga Springs, New York, United States | SELF

Saratoga Springs, New York, United States | SELF
Band Country Bluegrass


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"CAFFE LENA REVIEW by Sarah Craig"

“This exhuberant young "mountain pop" band from Ballston Spa made their Caffe Lena debut last spring. They won us over right quick and we decided to bring them back for a weekend evening. Why we like them: strong chops, rootsy yet contemporary, sparkling melodies, inventive and often comical lyrics, positive energy. Give them a try! You just might discover a new favorite.”
-Sarah Craig (Manager) - CAFFE LENA, July 2006

- Caffe Lena


“Happy Balky makes some mighty fine music, too. Mountain pop, they call it, describing it as "a left-of-the-dial approach to bluegrass music" or "high-energy folk music heavily influenced by bluegrass." Happy Balky and the Good Livin' eschews the usual songbag of bluegrass standards, and in fact their repertoire features almost all original material. When they do pull out a cover tune or two...Balky and the boys are more likely to serve up an acoustic newgrass version of Bright Eyes' "A Perfect Sonnet," Silverchair's "Tomorrow" or maybe Faith No More's "Epic."”

- The Times Union


“Happy Balky and the Good Livin' , as the name arguably suggests, plays an acoustic brand of roots music that nods towards bluegrass...Other than the catchy melodies, the songs are characterized by quirky, witty, sometimes outlandish lyrics that center on a cast of revolving characters.”
-PHILIP SCHWARTZ/THE DAILY GAZETTE, August 2007 - The Daily Gazette


Live at Bullfrog Pond (Limited Edition Live CD) - 2007

Apple's Decree (Full Length Studio Album) - 2008

Odie's Resolve (Unreleased) - Coming Summer 2009




*an organic fusion of bluegrass and acoustic-pop
*brother/sister fronted
*1 0 0 % P U R E M O U N T A I N - P O P

On a fateful afternoon in the summer of '05, four strapping lads, each from different walks of life, found themselves on the same "pickin' porch" in Ballston Spa, New York. They gathered there to breathe life into a musical vision...a trademark sound that would be unmistakeably theirs...a worthy addition to any music festival seeking diversity in their lineup. This catchy, new crossover sound would celebrate the unlikely marriage of pop and bluegrass. They struck a chord... Happy Balky and the Good Livin' was born...but their leader had yet to arrive.

Pooling the vocal talents of his internationally known sister, Brittny, with his own knack for eclectic songwriting, Berklee College of Music graduate/Happy Balky front-man, Zac Kissinger, has set out to build an audience for the budding cross-genre known as "Mountain-Pop." He brings to Balky a tasteful blend of rootsy acoustic guitar chops and infectious melodic hooks. With songs ranging from absurd tall-tales to heartfelt confessions of longing, Zac covers a lot of ground lyrically, and aims to keep his listeners guessing.

Happy Balky's signature "twang" is brought to you courtesy of the quick-fingered John Mysliwiec. Having gigged as a lead guitarist in numerous metal bands, John brings an unexpected edge to both the band and the claw-hammer banjo. Specializing in harmonica and mandolin is the diversely talented Chris Ronk, who's been studying classical piano since age three. He finds a melodic in his classical roots, while providing mandolin lines that are as intricate as they are essential to each song. Rounding out the bands sound is Nikolaas Strock on bass guitar. Fresh off his world travels, Nick has returned home with an insatiable desire to redefine the low end. His jazz background is the cherry on top of this backwoods string band's unique sound.

Brittny Kissinger might be the newest and smallest of the bunch, but she's been performing professionally since 1996 when her talent was recognized by Broadway director Martin Charnin. NY's Capital District was awed by Britt's sudden rise to fame when she was cast in the leading role of Annie performing with stars Nell Carter, John Schuck, and then Sally Struthers both on the Broadway stage and in the subsequent national tour. During that time she performed on national television shows such as The Tony Awards, The Today Show, Rosie O'Donnall, and CBS This Morning. Even now Brittny continues to be a source of interest. Since her return home she has been visited by a Japanese film crew as well as people magazine. She performed for over 20,000 people at 107.7 WGNA's Countryfest 2003, the largest country music event in the Northeast. In 2005, her progressive folk project, Tentacles Heavenward, garnered the attention of Fox News Channel culminating in an interview in her brother's recording studio. Most recently, was her decision in 2008 to join forces with the boys of Balky. Dead accurate male/female harmonies immediately brought their sound to a new level, and her first recording with the band caught the attention of A&R reps from two major labels.

At a live Happy Balky show, one can expect a healthy balance of angst and wit brought across with a refreshing sense of youthful urgency and raw stage energy. Their strain of "Mountain-Pop" demonstrates a seamless fusion of the bluegrass and acoustic-pop genres, and while pleasantly unpredictable, is undeniably catchy. Ambitious fans and reviewers have compared Happy Balky to popular acts such as Fleetwood Mac, Nickel Creek, Barenaked Ladies, and Old Crow Medicine Show...most say they've heard nothing quite like it. Having witnessed the rise of pop-country crossover and the ever increasing popularity of acoustic music in general, Happy Balky's members believe that "Mountain-Pop" has its place in the music industry...simply put, its bluegrass for the masses.

Happy Balky can provide up to 4 hours of live entertainment....100% originals if preferred by the venue. Recently selected by the Hudson Valley Songfest and Music Expo as "Best New Artist" Happy Balky and the Good Livin enjoyed the honors of an opening performance for singer songwriter, Ellis Paul at his May 22, 2010 show at Columbia/Greene County Community College.They have headlined five shows at Saratoga's prestigious Caffe Lena, the 3rd and 4th being sold out Friday night performances. In 2006, their song "Cornfields" won a spot on the SHINE compilation CD. Other performances include:
BARS: The Baggot Inn (NYC), The Lark Tavern- headlined 4th of July performance (Albany), The Parting Glass, Bailey's Cafe, Gaffney's, King's Tavern w/ Yarn (Saratoga Springs), The Taproom @ Brown's Brewing (Troy), The Factory (Ballston Spa)
FESTIVALS/EVENTS: , "Fiber Arts & Music Festival" featuring Kevin McKrell of the McKrells, "R