Tyson Ballew
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Tyson Ballew

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The best kept secret in music


"Summer of Dodos Review"

There’s something a little bit Billy Joe Armstrong about Tyson Ballew’s vocals—the way he sings about crushes made me recently unearth Green Day’s 1,039/ Smoothed Out Slappy Hours just to hear “The One I Want.” That said, the local troubadour injects his own dramatic notions of love into his newest album, and darkens them with an end-of-the-world earnestness.

In “The Hatchet,” he sings, “There’s unforeseen dangers in everything and we’d be lucky if we fell in love with anybody.” He counterbalances that in “Honest Friends” when he unabashedl

y belts out, “This heart gets broken, this heart gets smashed, but I guarantee you, this heart is gonna last!”

These kinds of songs evoke the excitement of first crushes and loitering on the sidewalk outside of all-ages rock shows, or hanging out with friends in parks at midnight. The fact that the album is on tape makes it all the more nostalgic, and the little details—clapping effects sharp as shotguns, poppy vocal layering—gives it brightness despite bleak undertones.

In fact, Ballew might be the perfect acoustic guitarist to hang out with during the apocalypse, mostly because his angst is cradled in starry-eyed acceptance for whatever excitement—good or bad—happens next. (Erika Fredrikson) - Missoula Independent

"Fruit Trees for Cassowaries Review"

Tyson Ballew created two albums under the moniker Old Shoes, but Fruit Trees for Cassowaries—released under his name—has all the attributes a first solo album should have: passionate music, unashamedly autobiographical lyrics and room to grow.

Instrumental flourishes, including synthesized xylophones, accordions, and a toy piano, all lend a fresh, optimistic tone to the effort. The upbeat attitude is mirrored in Ballew’s earnest lyrics, which, despite some bleak moments, are mostly honest and hopeful. “Things Are Different Now” contains the line “I still believe in the songs we’d sing…There’s still time, we can change this world. At least we can change ourselves.” And with a voice reminiscent of both Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and the Fruit Bat’s Eric Johnson, Ballew admits the ironic truth that “Everyone inspires me except for maybe those rock stars, ’cause they are selling sadness and apathy.” This indictment of the modern music machine fits perfectly with songs advocating for small-town punk teens in “Electric City Hardcore” and lonely lovers in “Bumble Bee.”

Ballew exudes hopeless romanticism, an endearing quality that will hopefully continue to flavor his future music.

-By Melissa Mylchreest - Missoula Independent


Tyson Ballew "Fruit Trees for Cassowaries" Album is available at www.gimmesound.com/tysonballew
Also released the EP "The Summer of Dodo's" tracks are available at myspace.com/tysonballew



Tyson Ballew has been performing solo for the better part of a decade. Years of bands and solo projects have lead Ballew to record a solo record and EP as Tyson Ballew. Both of these albums are strong recordings with elements of folk, pop punk and indie rock ascetics to form catchy pop records. Often Ballew's lyrics are described as earnest. A Montana native Ballew has been a part of the underground scene for close to 10 years as a promoter and performer. Ballew also operates from home a small record label called Tummy Rock records. The label puts out albums by regional and local bands as well is home to all of Ballew's solo albums. Ballew's love for punk rock and energetic live shows has an affect on Tyson Ballew live shows. Instead of merely being an attendee, concert goers are encouraged to become apart of the experience. Singalongs are strongly encouraged.