Chris Beall.’s 2013 release is titled Gin Mill Hymns. Now if I see an album with a title like that, and read that the musician resides in Austin. Texas, I’m gonna give it a listen!! Visions of Ray Wylie Hubbard, Slaid Cleaves and a dozen others dance in my head. The only other thing that would make it a certainty that I would listen is if I saw that the album was produced by Lloyd Maines. What I got was an album that’s full of great songs some really personal like :”Dug Down Deep” about his father, a Texas motorcycle racer’s crash in Missouri and his miraculous recovery. coupled with blues classics like Mississippi John Hurt’s “Spike Driver Blues” Chris says his influences include David Grissom, Tom Petty, Will Hoge, Neil Young, John Mellencamp. But when I listen to the first and second tracks on the album “Half a World Away” and the aforementioned “Dug Down Deep” I hear a little Greg Trooper in his music. And I even think he stole his hat!
I first saw “The Gin Mill Hymns” recently on the Roots Music Report where it’s # 29 on the Roots Chart. It has also been on the Teas Roots Radio chart where the album reached #15 and #179 on the national Americana radio chart.
Chris Beall is a career musician who traveled the southern circuit playing blues guitar in his early years for regional blues artists such as Michael “Happy Fat” Gilbert and then he did a stint in Nashville before moving to Austin. Some time in those early years, he ended up in a band called the Gin Mill Hymns,.and it all came together. Gin Mill Hymns is a collection of songs that they sang in those years. You can read the about those years at his website
So check out his Chris and his music at:
Amazon: Gin Mill Hymns
YouTube Channel: Chris Beall
Here’s Chris and Rodney Black performing “Half A World Away”……