The Charlie Ballantine Trio brings their unique brand of Americana infuse jazz, playing music off of their last two albums Life Is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan, Cold Coffee, and their widely anticipated new release Vonnegut, a tribute to the writings of Kurt Vonnegut. His playing has been describe led by Vintage Guitar Magazine as “beautiful and complex”, and hailed by JAZZIZ Magazine as “teeming with intricate grooves and maniacal precision”. Ballantine’s genre bending style has been featured on such stages as the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, The Indianapolis Jazz Festival, The Elkhart Jazz Festival, and hundreds of other venues worldwide. Joining him will be Cassius Goens III on drums and Jesse Wittman on bass.
An arc of mystery and music stretches across America like a vein of gold, an eternal blue highway that grows mired in fable as time both adds to and erases it. What Greil Marcus called “the old, weird America” can be heard in the music of Robert Johnson and Santo and Johnny and Tammy Wynette and Duane Allman, from the dark underbelly birthed in New Orleans that extends across the plains from Bakersfield, California, to Macon, Georgia; from Roscoe Holcomb’s “high lonesome sound” to Bob Dylan’s “wild mercury sound.” And it can most definitely be heard in the reflective, lightning-flash-of-brilliance that is the music of 29-year-old Charlie Ballantine.
Born in the American heartland of Indianapolis, Indiana, Ballantine’s quicksilver guitar is all Fender Telecaster flux and flow, Deluxe Reverb danger and drive. Ballantine has two current releases: Life Is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan and Where Is My Mind?, with two albums prior, all drawing from music and experiences documented long before he was born. Son of a blues guitarist who frequented “Indy’s” club circuit in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Ballantine has inherited the sound of the wind roaring across the plains, the desert heat of Route 66 and the lush colors of the Appalachian mountains. Balllantine’s guitar is spectral and haunting, his music an evolving tale of a young journeyman with big ears.
“I've always been attracted to the guys on the outskirts,” Ballantine says from Indianapolis. “Like John Scofield, Bill Frisell, and Jeff Beck; you can call the first two jazz, but a purist might disagree. And I like using distortion and delay and [different] vocabulary, not necessarily playing straight bebop. That’s what’s I’ve always loved, guys who are unique in their approach and who have their own voice.
Ballantine’s guitar sound and musical concept is majestic, sometimes as blinding as a setting sun yet hinting at the unknown, a dark Americana whose remnants remain if you know where to look. That Ballantine is exploring singular music is a given. Growing up in a musical household, Ballantine was exposed early on to the pop greats, but also the sounds of jazz, blues, pop and rock.
“My parents were born in the 50s,” Ballantine explains. “So I grew up kind of listening to the Beatles, Beach Boys, the Band. I have Sergeant Pepper on one shoulder and Wes Montgomery on the other shoulder, and Hendrix too. So I have all these things, these influences I'm trying to make sense of and give a sense of continuity.”
None of us at Noce are taking your health and safety lightly. We are taking a very carefully curated approach to this new process, & I promise to keep a diligent eye on our operations as we continue down this road.
Whether it's with the masks, the temperatures taken at the door, or the spaced out tables, it may feel incredibly different than before all of this began. The good news is that once you're in your seat with a cocktail in hand & a great band on the stage, you'll have everything you need for another great night at Noce.
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