"I started this band 12 years ago in Kalamazoo Michigan man, and I've never looked back and we have been hammerin' it and hammerin' it just trying to get better."

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That strategy is working out nicely for Frankie Ballard who to this point has already had 3 different songs go to number one in country airplay. I sat down with Frankie before his set at the Taste of Country Music Festival this past weekend and talked to him about being one of country music's latest stars.

I have to tell you Frankie is kind of a laid back dude and definitely fits in the "cool" category but down let his soft spoken nature fool you, when you start talking about music with Frankie the his passion and love for it rises to the top.

Frankie was so easy to talk to that after the interview was over we kept talking for a long time and I asked him how he manages to sound so classic and true to his own style but yet hit a chord with the contemporary country listener. I wondered if this was something he tried to do or it just came natural. To paraphrase he said he started listening to the classic artists when he was very young with his dad and through the years has exposed himself to so many other artists and forms of music that they are just all there in his head and he can't help but draw from all of it.

Well, whatever he's doing it's working and you can check out his new album El Rio here.

If you missed my interview with Frankie this weekend check it out now.