The story is fairly common; from earliest memory, the drive to be a musician is undeniable. Music is a calling, not a choice, and throughout childhood there are the endless hours of study and practice, with the goal of one day becoming a professional performer. This however, is not the story of Dave Balson. In fact there is nothing common about Dave, his music, or his career.
Dave was well into his teen years before he discovered music - and in reality, it was a music teacher who discovered Dave. While at school in California, Dave was sitting in the room of a classmate, singing "Friend of the Devil," when the music teacher walked by, heard him singing, liked what he heard, and suggested to Dave that he perform the song for the school. Dave had always been a big music fan, but had never, until that moment, considered performing. After that moment, Dave was hooked, and he has been performing and composing ever since. The response of his growing audience, and the fire he found in the music, launched him into a career.
Developing his skills as a guitarist as well as a vocalist, Dave started out doing cover songs for gatherings of friends and on the streets of Chicago where he attracted crowds willing to tolerate the chilling winds to hear him perform. Along the way, Dave realized the power of music to communicate and motivate, and decided it was time to start singing his own words. Spending a year on a farm in New Hampshire, Dave wrote songs of compassion, unity, love, and freedom. . From searing protest songs, to intimate songs of longing and love, with a style that comes not from formal training, but from honest and unfiltered emotion, Dave's compositions have the ability to reach deep into, and stir the soul of the listener. To listen to Dave's songs is to become committed to his causes, his feelings, and his artistry.
In 2004 Dave recorded his first album, "Om Is Where The Art Is", produced by his long time friend, Jamie Fillmore of Cheer Accident. The range of songs on this debut album is remarkable for its diversity and intensity. From the scathing political commentarey of "Pledge Allegiance" to the simple, yet tragic love song "Greatest Escape" to the soulfully uplifiting reggae-folk tune "Freedom Train"
Continuing to compose and perform songs that empower, move, and connect with his audiences, Dave has appeared at fund raising events for political activists, summer festivals where he has shared a stage with musical greats Sam Bush and Yonder Mountain String Band, small clubs around the nation, and in his beloved home town of Chicago.
In an era where common and undistinguishable music permeates our culture, the uncommon music of Dave Balson is not merely refreshing, it is necessary.