Country crooner Ballard in Bend

Maverick’s hosts rising western star Frankie Ballard

Published Mar 21, 2014 at 12:11AM

There are a whole bunch of big names in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart right now: Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum and so on.

And there, just outside the top 10 ­­— coming in at No. 12 — is Frankie Ballard.

Now, to country-music super-fans, Ballard may be a known quantity. He did, after all, score a couple of moderate hits from his 2011 debut album. To casual observers, though, Ballard is a new name.

That’s about to change.

Ballard, who will stop at Maverick’s County Bar in Bend on Sunday, is currently riding the wave of his first major hit, “Helluva Life,” a song that, frankly, sounds like a lot of big country hits. Did you see that video on the Internet late last year about just how lyrically similar many country songs are? How they all include references to trucks, dirt roads, bodies of water, alcohol, sun/moon/starlight and women in blue jeans? Well, “Helluva Life” ticks off four out of seven, delivered in Ballard’s twangy tenor. Not bad.

Anyway, this fellow may or may not be the next big thing, but he’s hot right now, and that means he’s a good booking for Maverick’s, which regularly hosts country artists. If you’re one of those folks longing for, say, Les Schwab Amphitheater to bring in a country concert, you might visit the Maverick’s website (below) and find something that’ll wet your whistle.

Frankie Ballard; 9 p.m. Sunday; $16 plus fees at the website below; Maverick’s Country Bar & Grill, 20565 Brinson Blvd., Bend; www.maverickscountrybar.com or 541-325-1886.

— Ben Salmon