«So, how on earth did the moniker “PR Newman” surface, in which the “PR” doesn’t even refer to someone’s name, or the fact that it might be a public relations business? (Our) story is far more interesting than that; he earned the nickname “Punkrock Randy Newman” from a gent named Grimey, proprietor of The Basement in Nashville, when Garland was still playing keys for the Berkshire Hounds. Spot on. Garland thought it’d be perfect name for a solo project. After making music under other assorted names, PR Newman became the one and only. And that’s what Garland’s working on now, with Bond, Lynch and Cook on board. PR Newman’s official debut album, TURNOUT, is set for a January release, and will feature additional familiar faces making contributions on various tracks, including Mike St. Clair(White Denim, Okkervil River), Jim Campo, and Sweet Gary Newcomb. » — Laurie Gallardo KUTX
Ben Ballinger makes roots music with an emotional depth and songwriting mastery rarely heard on the Americana scene. A balladeer in the truest sense, Ballinger comes off as a craftsman, building fine-tuned melodies out of roughhewn passions. Ballinger mines every bit of his existence, a lifetime worth of triumph and disappointment and discovery, panning through the spiritual silt for a golden truthAnother from-the-hip melodic twist, another gut-wrenching insight, and one more late-night starry-eyed rhythm and rhyme. After digging deep into the Austin, Texas scene for the past few years, Ballinger easily stands out among the pack of would-be Country soulmen with an undeniably genuine Northwest brogue and the kind of hardscrabble lyrical chops that can only come from experience, solitude and struggle. Ballinger consistently achieves what all troubadours aim for—he tells us his story, while letting it be ours.