Chasing Ballads

Bo Armstrong

Independent release, 2020

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The first album from the Dallas, Texas native and current Nashville resident Bo Armstrong, Chasing Ballads certainly offers plenty of calm, breezy, heartfelt songwriting. The troubadour resides in a comforting version of Americana that lyrically surrounds actualizing dreams and seeking out the love you envision. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Armstrong starts the thoughtful listen with the fluid, warm acoustic guitar of “Meet Me In Memphis,” where his mildly rugged yet inviting vocals draw us in immediately to the timeless country rock. “Built To Last” follows and brings Laurel Wright in on vocals. The meticulous Americana unfolds with much beauty amid the lovely duet.

Side A finishes with the glowing pedal steel of the cautious and rootsy “Wildfire,” while “Wearing Out These Wings” takes on a more sparse quality with a poetic and romantic delivery of sublime introspection.

Side B leads with “Here's Looking At You, Kid” where Armstrong's vivid storytelling embraces a cozy country spirit, and “Used To You” continues this theme with a gentle execution that recruits Sierra Carson's pretty pipes for the stirring intimacy. “Mama Sway,” the best selection from this side, continues the calm landscape with bare beauty in a moving climate of rural sounds, and “You Know What I Look Like In The Dark” exits the listen with much grace alongside a vulnerable mood that Armstrong cultivates so well across the entire effort.

This record is lyrically and musically all substance. Armstrong actually left a promising hockey career followed by a stint with teaching when he relocated to The Music City to take a shot at the singer-songwriter life. Though he's only been releasing music for a few years now, he's an eloquent, articulate storyteller, and his folk, rock, country, roots, and Americana-friendly song craft is making him fans out of anyone willing to listen, including myself.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2021 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.