Fast becoming recognized as 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, also known these days as Americana. A frequent presence on the Chicago club circuit, John and his band Crazy Heart (guitarist Jay Whitehouse, bassist Gus Noble, and drummer Leslie Walle-Santos) will take their musical exploits to a whole new level in 2015, building on a hugely successful tour of Scotland in July this year the highlight of which was two mainstage appearances at the prestigious Tiree Music Festival.
“This guy John Ballantyne is the real thing! He’s from Scotland, but other than that he’s an alright guy 🙂 He has the wit and charm along with the perfect patina to deliver the American story told by our favorites, John Prine, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. He’s an accomplished guitar player to boot. Most importantly he writes his own songs as well and they are good!”