Editors’ Notes With big guitars and sly hooks, Ballard’s third album is filled with gritty country rock. The fact that El Rio was recorded in Texas comes through in the swaggering charm of “Southern Side” or “El Camino,” and the bluesy acoustic slide of “Little Bit of Both.” But Ballard’s gift for storytelling shines brightest on the sweetly sentimental lead-off single, “It All Started with a Beer.”

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