This weekend, Michigan native Frankie Ballard gives his yearly gift to his hometown, with a show that’s become a holiday tradition. Though he grew up in Battle Creek, his annual Country Christmas Concert Saturday night will be at the State Theatre in nearby Kalamazoo.
“I think this is the seventh year, which I’m really excited about. It sold out really quickly and it’s for a great cause,” he says. “I love being able to give back to the community a little bit, a community where I struggled, you know, for a long time, trying to be a musician.”
But Frankie’s certainly not struggling anymore. Just this week, he found out the title cut of his latest album, “Sunshine & Whiskey,” has been certified platinum, selling more than a million track equivalent units. It also went to number one on the country charts, as well as two other tunes from the record, “Helluva Life” and “Young & Crazy.”
The Saturday-night benefit helps a cause Frankie is passionate about — the Detroit chapter of the non-profit Notes for Notes, which gives children instruments, lessons and the chance to record.
Right now, the first single from his next album is climbing the charts, “It All Started with a Beer.” Frankie traveled to the Sonic Ranch in El Paso, Texas, to make the record, which is due next year. You can get a glimpse at the music-making process in a new video now posted on his website.