John Ballantyne Presents: Chicago 1971

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This is a Chicago story, and I believe it needs to be told. One night on the North side in the summer of 1971…

As Prine recounts it, Kristofferson was booked to play three nights at a Chicago club where Goodman was the opening act. Kristofferson was impressed by Goodman’s songs.

“The third night Kris was at the Quiet Night, Steve really put the hammer down to get Kris to come see me,” Prine recalled. “So they come over and I take my guitar out…I sang about six or seven songs. Then I sat down to have a beer with Kris. When I was done with the beer he asked if I would sing those same six or seven songs again, plus anything else I wrote.

“The evening went into the wee hours, and Kris started quoting lyrics from my songs that night. I went home so excited about meeting him and his being so knocked out by my songs, I don’t know if I slept that night. And it was all because of Steve Goodman!”

Kristofferson, who also played an indirect but key role in getting Prine signed by Atlantic Records in New York, had ample reason to be impressed.

Fast becoming one of Chicago’s premier country singers and songwriters

Ballantyne was born and raised in Scotland, though you’d never know it from his earthy vocal delivery and immaculate lead guitar. Both resonate with the twang and raunch of classic honky-tonk country.  Among John’s influences are artists like Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, and John Prine. With these influences, it comes as no surprise that John’s original songs and guitar playing will grab your attention and leave you wanting more.