Welcome


Welcome to my web site! I am so happy to share it with you.

This is the place where you can experience the expression of my music, my world, my life. Thank you for being here!

Please check out my music, videos, upcoming events and all the other great features on this site.

I am looking forward to providing you with music that means something, music that inspires and entertains, music that is alive.

Peace and blessings to you and yours!

What's Happening Now! 

Hello friends!

I hope this day finds you in good health and in a place that you find comfortable and secure. I am doing my best to cope with a rapidly changing world and express who I am through my music, an endeavor that has been going on for a long, long time but of which I never tire. It’s in my blood going back at least 500 years that I can trace, back to my namesake, Robert Ballard, the lutenist and composer in King Louis XIV's royal court. A fascinating story really, but too much to get into here. You can find out more on my Patreon page.

A Little Levity is in order!

Here is a summary of what I have been up to lately. 

New Releases 

Night Came Down, although not a new release, has been getting a lot of attention because of the huge forest fires here in California. I am using the song to focus attention on the victims of these fires and help raise a little money to help them. My partner, our pets and I were fire refugees after the Thomas Fire burned us out of our place in Ojai, CA in December 2017. Night Came Down is about my experience that terrible night and the ensuing aftermath. In addition to my web site, you can also stream and download it here

Without You is actually an old song that I wrote and recorded in 2006. However, it was never mastered and released so I did those things and sent it out into world. The song has released been distributed to the streaming platforms and it is also available on my web site. I significantly changed this song to create a version that I could perform a solo which I did for years. The newly released version is the original vision I had of the song and am glad I had it recorded at a beautiful studio in Montecito, CA. It was great to work with some great professionals there. This version features some awesome guitar playing by Jim Monahan and even a solo cello. 

Snow Moon has been released on all major streaming services as well as on my web site. I have received a good reaction from folks and am working on getting it licensed in a film or TV production. Upside Down is another new song and like Snow Moon, is different than my standard folk rock, singer/songwriter stuff. I am challenging myself to expand my musical universe and incorporate some new techniques and structures. 

Happy Day is a first for me; a really happy upbeat song. Industry folks who have heard it liken it to pop rock bands of the 70’s like the Partridge Family and the Cowsills. Although this kind of music was definitely not what I liked to listen to back then, I created it for music licensing opportunities that use this kind of light, simple music. I was in a good mood that day too! I was told that Happy Day would be great for TV ads, so I am working on that angle too. Maybe it will make people smile and feel a little better. 

I have three more songs and a couple of instrumental pieces that will be done soon. All of them represent a continuation of my creative expansion and exploration. However, one of these songs needs lyrics which is always a challenge for me. I looking for a collaborator/co-writer on that song. I tend to write melodies first and then create words that match the melody and convey the emotional content that the music engenders for me. However, I am making good progress on the other songs and hope to complete them next week. 

Licensing 

I regularly participate in professional conferences to stay up to date on the music business and find ways to produce and license my music in TV, film and other productions. After I attended the Summer 2021 Sync Licensing Conference, I participated in a special listening session with the woman who supervises music for Vice Media. She loved my instrumental, Running Blades, and plans to use it during the Fall 2021 production season. I am submitting a special version of Happy Day for another music supervisor who thinks it would work in an ad and a show he is working on. I also have received interest in several of my songs and instrumentals from a well-known music library. 

I am continuing to pursue new licensing opportunities through a couple of new networks that I have joined recently. Things look very promising, but I can’t reveal details yet. 

Right now my music is appearing in a recurring Reelz TV production, “Cult of Personality,” the Charles Manson Episode. They used Surf’s Up for the production because of Manson’s connection with the Beach Boys back in the day. My favorite publisher, Music Partners, secured the placement of my music in this production. 

Radio Play 

Night Came Down and Snow Moon are appearing regularly in Eagle Nest Radio’s internet playlist and Blue Sunset and Cloudless Sky have been broadcast on Pat Kearn’s Local Music Showcase on FM 107.7 in the High Desert. His weekly 4PM show features artists from Joshua Tree, CA and surrounding areas. If you miss the live show, you can listen to the podcast here. 

Well, that’s about it for now. Seems like a lot but I love doing it. All of this is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me. Making a difference and making a living from making a difference is what I live for. 

If you feel so inclined, please consider being a Patreon patron. It really helps to keep me going. Also, please share my music with others who might enjoy it. 

Thanks so much for your interest and support.

New Stuff & More! 

Hello friends! 

I hope this day finds you in good health and in a place that you find comfortable and secure. I am doing my best to cope with a rapidly changing world and express who I am through my music, an endeavor that has been going on for a long, long time but of which I never tire. It’s in my blood and in my genes going back at least 500 years that I can trace, back to my namesake, Robert Ballard, the lutenist and composer in King Louis XIV's royal court. A fascinating story really, but too much to get into here. You can find out more on my Patreon page. 

How do you like my new hair? LOL!

Here is a summary of what I have been up to lately. 

New Releases 

Locked Up is light-hearted, humorous look at living with the lock down. It is a personal story of isolation and near insanity that many can relate to, a situation that begs for a little levity. Here is a song that makes us smile, turning loneliness to laughter. Good medicine for us all. Also available via all major streaming platforms

Locked Up got a nice write-up on A/R Review and was added to the rotation on two popular internet radio stations, Eagle Nest Radio & Radio Free Exile. I am also working on a Locked Up video that I hope will be entertaining. I finished the storyboard and we started filming it yesterday. It is really a lot of fun! 

Reason To Live was just released last week. This song is about the spirit and the heart of so many of the people I met on the streets. Homeless, houseless people who were determined to find a reason to live despite their circumstances. I was inspired by them, so much so, I started a non-profit organization to empower them and show us who they truly are through artistic self-expression. It was called the Hearts of Fire Project and it consumed my life for a decade. You can listen to Reason To Live on my web site or on all of the major streaming platforms

Two more songs, Upside Down and Snow Moon, are now mastered and posted to my web site. I post all my music there first before distributing it to the digital music platforms. Both of these songs are different than my standard folk rock, singer/songwriter stuff. As I mentioned in my last post, I am challenging myself to expand my musical universe and incorporate some new techniques and structures. I hope you like them. 

I have four more pieces that will be done soon (I hope). Three are songs and one is an instrumental. All of them represent a continuation of my creative expansion and exploration. Two of these songs need lyrics which is always a challenge for me. I tend to write melodies first and then create words that match the melody and convey the emotional content that the music engenders for me. It can take awhile… 

Licensing 

I regularly participate in professional conferences to stay up to date on the music business and find ways to license my music in TV, film and other productions. I attended the Summer 2021 Sync Licensing Conference and the ASCAP Expo. Both were great opportunities to learn about what types of music are needed currently and who is licensing music right now. I made some great connections and have already submitted some music as a result. Although the music sync business operates on a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” basis, I feel like I am making progress. 

Right now my music is appearing in a recurring Reelz TV production, “Cult of Personality,” the Charles Manson Episode. They used Surf’s Up for the production because of Manson’s connection with the Beach Boys back in the day. My favorite publisher, Music Partners, secured the placement of my music in this production. 

Senior Music Makers Group 

As a result of meeting people at the online conferences, I started a group to support senior music makers. We had our first Zoom call last week and I am hopeful that it will coalesce in the near future. 

Music In New Video – “Not Homeless Enough,” from Hear Us 

I composed, produced and donated music for Not Homeless Enough, a new video from Hear Us, a non-profit organization that is bringing the reality of houseless people to our attention and connecting them with badly needed assistance. This short video explains how so many fall through the cracks. Homeless, but not homeless enough to get help.


Well, that’s about it for now. Seems like a lot and it is but I love doing it. All of this is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me. Making a difference and making a living from making a difference is what I live for. 

If you feel so inclined, please consider being a Patron. It makes a difference. Also, please share my music with others who might enjoy it. 

Thanks so much for your interest and support.

Bob

Twitter: @BobBallard

Rediscovered A Classic and More! 

Hi all!

As you probably know, I am always searching for opportunities to license my music to film and TV productions as well major artists. In response to a call for an old-style R&B tune, I searched my archives for Only In The Dark, a classic, Barry White-style love song. I recorded it 17 years ago in my original studio in Massachusetts before I moved to California. I was a novice audio engineer at that time yet managed to write and record this tune with the help of a lyricist, Lila Rose, and a great singer, Leon Beal.

However, there was a fatal flaw in the lead vocal performance, three very prominent off-pitch notes that I was not able to correct at the time because I didn't notice them. When I eventually realized the problem, I no longer had the original session files or access to the singer, so couldn't fix it. Last week, I discovered that with the technology available in my studio today, I was able to surgically and seamlessly bring the errant notes into proper pitch. Now, the tune sounds just about perfect. Check it out here and let me know what you think.

Locked Up, my amusing song about coping with the pandemic is getting better all the time. I added some horns to this rocking song and it sounds great. I hired some well-know brass players from New Orleans to perform those parts and they are busy doing that right now. I can't wait to hear what they come up with. As usual with session musicians, I have them play the parts I wrote as well as create and record their own version. No surprise, but their versions are usually better than mine. I play a lot of instruments, but I can't know the intricacies of all of them, especially brass. The only time I tried to play brass was when I took a few saxophone lessons in sixth grade. The only think I got out the sax was gobs of spit that I poured into it. LOL!

Well, that's it for now. Stay tune for more cool stuff!

Coming Back 

Hello!

Feeling great about the possibility of no masking and gigging again! Some venues are reopening and more will be soon. I can't wait to perform again for a live audience; it is so different than doing virtual concerts. I tried doing those for awhile but it was unnatural for me and the technical aspects were distracting. I finally gave up. I might try it again if I can figure out a way to make it work better for me and for those who may be watching.

I have been working hard in the studio, producing some great new music. Some of my recent releases include two hard-hitting rock instrumentals:

Tough Road


Space Chase

I am also close to finishing Locked Up, an amusing look at surviving the pandemic, truthful and real yet a bit tongue in cheek. Other songs that will be coming out soon include Upside Down and Snow Moon. I am excited about these songs and I think you will be too.

I am excited about a major upgrade to my studio - new computer! I ordered a state-of-the-art Apple iMac M1, the latest technology. It is supposed to be way faster and more powerful than any iMac because it uses a new ARM M1 chip that Apple developed. Producing music puts a tremendous strain on computer resources and demands a powerful computer to work properly and efficiently. My old iMac is great too and was state-of-the-art in late 2012, but it is having a hard time running the latest software. It will be awesome to have no resource constraints anymore.

On the publishing front, one of my most popular instrumentals, Surf's Up, was used in an episode of Reelz' Cult of Personality about Charles Manson and his gang. Surf's Up is a retro 60's beach rock tune reflecting Manson's connection with the Beach Boys back in the day. This is the third time Surf's Up has been used in a Film or TV production.

Well, that is about it for now. I hope you like hearing from me and learning more about me and music. I hope you sign up for my email list and let me know what think about my music. Your feedback is important to me.

Take care!


 

Latest Happenings 


Hello all!

Lots going on right now. Several new songs and instrumentals in process and I am looking forward to wrapping them up over the next two weeks. One of my songs is a tongue and cheek interpretation of the pandemic experience. It is humorous but also very real. I can't wait to get it done. Going to add a great sax track to the song as soon as I find the right player to record it.

Night Came Down was pre-released on streaming to services this week and will be universally released on April 23. This song is about living through the 2017 Thomas Fire, the largest in California history at the time. After begging to get through the fire lines to save our pets, we arrived at our house with ash and flaming embers flying in our faces driven by 80 mph winds. Smoke filled our house and our lungs as we rushed through the rooms gathering a few essentials and our frightened pets. For the next several days, we ran from the fire. First to friends and then to a hotel 60 miles away. The fire seemed to chase us; within days, smoke was surrounding the hotel. We headed back south, passing again through the smoke as the fire lined the highway. Nothing was ever the same again, the fire changed everything. We were virtually homeless for weeks. Eventually we found refuge and a new home in the desert. Night Came Down is about all of that and more.

Local venues here in the S. California desert are beginning to show signs of life. Within the next few months, things might be "normal" enough for me to return to the Joshua Tree Saloon where I was a regular before the pandemic struck. I have been vaccinated, so at least I have done my part. Hope others do the same. Although FB Live performances work for some, I find it frustrating and not the level of quality I want to provide my fans. However, I did revive my Patreon membership so there is still hope. I have been working on expanding my social media presence on LinkedIn and Twitter as well as using music promotion and distribution platforms like DISCO, Distrokid, Bandcamp and YouTube. Hopefully, providing more points of interaction will help potential clients and fans find and enjoy my music more.

Thanks for your interest in me and my music. I appreciate it!

Latest News! 

Hello everyone! Thank you for visiting my web site. Glad you are here.

My latest production - Cloudless Sky - was just released on all major streaming and download platforms. I am so excited to have this song out there. I wrote it during a trip to Massachusetts in 2019, during that fondly remembered lead up to the pandemic. I was so blessed to be able to make that trip before the lock down began.

I visited many of the places that were significant in life. I drove by the schools I attended, the houses where I had lived and some of the places I worked. It was a trip down memory lane but also a time introspection inspired by those places that had held so much significance in my earlier years.

Lately, I have been experimenting with the various ways of marketing and distributing my music. As always, all of my music is available for listening and download on this web site. I also post videos regularly on my Face Book page about my work in the studio and my plans for new music. There are so many ways to get music out there these days, but also thousands of artists trying to do the same thing. I have tried some Live performances on Face Book but I find the experience lacking in so many ways, both for me and for fans. Yes, it may be better than nothing, but without a live audience, it is very hard for me to get into it.

Since live performance venues are still shut down here, licensing my music to film and TV productions has been my main avenue for earning money. But that is a tough egg to crack too. I have had a few small licensing successes but would really like a lot more. To do that, I am researching which productions need music and what kind they need. When I find a match possibility, I submit my music to the appropriate person if I can find an email address for them. I also submit music to music libraries which serve the film and TV business. I have had some success there too.

As the vaccinations ramp up, I am hopeful that we will see an end to the pandemic and all the suffering and isolation it has caused. Aside from feeling trapped at times, I have been fortunate to weather the virus well. I have had one vaccination so far and will be getting a second booster shot in a few weeks. I must say, it feels great to have a least some real defense against the virus.

My plan is to release a series of singles over the next few months and then a six-song EP. My fans will get early access to those songs here on my web site. Of course, I am working on new songs as well as producing new instrumentals. Lately, I seem to want to add vocals to my creations, so what would have been instrumentals are becoming songs. On the burner right now is a song about the pandemic lock down, a classic delta blues tune and a totally re-imagined version of the classic Over The Rainbow. I don't know why but that song has always made me feel like I could totally escape my life and go to a better place. Escapism has been a life theme for me since childhood.

Well, that's about it for now. Take care and be safe!

Links To Cloudless Sky:

Apple Music
Spotify

Coming To An End, Finally 

I couldn't let any more time pass without at least checking in here and saying hello. I have been focusing on recording my music in the studio and am producing music that meets my professional standards. I have also found a great mastering engineer that I am working with and I think you will hear the difference in quality that his mastering makes.

I promote my music on my Face Book page because I have a good sized, 400+ fan base there. I released "Night Came Down" a couple of weeks ago and will be releasing three more new songs over the next few weeks. I add all of my new music to this web site as soon as it is released. My songs are uploaded and distributed on all major streaming and download services like Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.

In addition to my songs, I write a lot of instrumental music. Tonight, I uploaded an awesome and very unusual instrumental, "Midnight Ride," It is written in 7/4 time and took me awhile to figure that out. I didn't start off to create music in an odd time signature, but after I worked with it, I realized that is where it fit. And it works! I pitch this music to the film and TV industry folks in hopes of getting it licensed in a production. I'm still getting royalties from a couple of placements I made years ago, so I must be doing something right.

Since all live music venues have been closed for quite some time here in my area of S. California, I haven't had a chance to perform live. Nothing else is like performing for a live audience and I miss doing it greatly. However, I have been doing some Facebook Live broadcasts and plan to do more. These are broadcast from my Bob Ballard Music page on Facebook. If you are interested, there are several video performances posted there as well as some from my past gigs.

Like many, I have feeling blessed that this very hard year of 2020 is coming to an end. I have been hunkered down for months now and so far have avoided getting the virus. I hope that you all stay safe too. Let's hope and pray for a better year, a year filled with love and respect for each other.

Peace & Love to All.

New Release!  

It has been a long time coming for sure. I wrote "Night Came Down" almost two years ago but have been working on getting it recorded and produced at a professional level of quality. I am finally there! At least that is what people have said who helped me vet this track, etc.

One reason why it took so long is that I am still learning. Yes. Even after twenty years in the studio, there was a lot I didn't know. In addition, the audio technology keeps changing and improving, so it can be hard to keep up with it. Also, as the technology changes, the recording and producing techniques I learned become obsolete. So it has been a struggle. It is tough to record and produce a song while simultaneously learning new software and production techniques. But what else is new, seems like I have always been learning that way, LOL!.

In any event, I hope you like "Night Came Down" and will listen to it and download the track. I'd love to hear what you think of it as well. Starting now, I am going to be communicating with you much more. I want to get to know you and hope you feel the same.

Back to the studio!

About Time 

Hi all!

Sorry I have been neglecting to post here. I have been so busy in the studio creating music, I hardly emerge at all. LOL!

I have been honing my music production skills for the last 18 months, working with a great instructor from South Africa. Reaching commercial production quality has been my challenge for a quite a few years now. I finally got tired of hearing how great my music is, but sorry, can't use it in production. I am determined to eliminate that criticism and I have finally succeeded. Doesn't mean everything I do is great, but at least it of sufficient quality to be considered commercial quality.

I know this because of the feedback I have been getting from real Hollywood music supervisors and other professionals. I have been learning how to prepare and pitch my music to real people in the business and am now in a position to really get my music out to people who make music buying decisions for TV shows, major films and other outlets. Hoping to get a placement soon.

So between the production quality upgrade and my new connections in the business, I have been really busy producing music in the studio. Part of the production quality upgrade has been my equipment. I recently upgraded my audio interface, monitors, software, computer and microphones. I have a final software glitch to resolve, then I will be recording vocals and acoustic guitar via high end microphones and pre-amps. I am sure everyone will notice the difference.

I just posted a new instrumental, "Blast Off", which you can hear on my Instrumental page of this web site. If you compare it to the production quality of my older stuff (at the bottom of the page), you will see what I mean. Soon, you won't be able to do that comparison because the old, not-quite-there material will retired.

I am also performing live at local venues like the Joshua Tree Saloon, so rehearsals are an important part of my studio time too. Keep an eye on my event postings to see where I will be performing next. I am also planning to launch some live mini-concerts direct from my studio via Facebook Live. Stay tuned for updates on these.

Anyway, back to work for me. Thanks for hanging out here with me.

Take care!

Bob

Campus Movie Fest Honors! 

Wow! I just received a wonderful acknowledgement letter from Campus Movie Fest thanking me for the all the music I donated to student filmmakers. My music has appeared in hundreds of student films over the years. I am very happy to have helped so many budding filmmakers find their groove. I continue to provide new music to filmmakers and other industry folk and look forward to supporting some great new projects. Check out my Songs and Instrumentals on this site for more.

Expanding My Musical Universe, You're Invited!

I would love to have you join my musical journey. The train is waiting for you to hop on. Have a seat and enjoy. Get ready for exclusive downloads, fan only specials and videos. Welcome aboard!

Events

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