Frankie Ballard is not shy about sharing his admiration for legendary rock artist Bob Seger. In fact, Frankie’s latest single, “You’ll Accomp’ny Me”—featured on his current album, El Rio—is a track that Bob penned and originally recorded on his 1980 album, Against the Wind.
While Frankie, who hails from Michigan—the same state as his idol—loves Bob’s soulful sound and calls him “an inspiration,” their geographic commonality had an effect on Frankie’s veneration for the rock icon.
“Growing up in Michigan—[Bob’s] a Michigan boy, so I think that has something to do with it,” Frankie tells Nash Country Daily. “Just to think that this guy is from Detroit and all of a sudden, look at him—look what he’s capable of. His recipe for rock ‘n’ roll was just something that I really loved. It was a lot of soul, it was a lot of country. Some people call it rock ‘n’ roll. I just loved his brand and I loved his voice. He is just amazing. ”
Frankie had the opportunity to open select dates on Bob’s 2011 spring tour—a dream come true for the 34-year-old. But it took Frankie speaking out to get some much-wanted advice from the legend.
“This is kind of a funny story. I was doing an interview, back at the time. I guess we are talking about 2011, 2012, when I was out [on tour] with Bob,” recalls Frankie. “I did some TV interview and they asked the question, ‘What advice has Bob given you?’ I said, ‘Well, we are out on the tour and working really hard and we’re rockin’ every night, but you know, he hasn’t really necessarily pulled me aside and given me any advice.’ Fast-forward six weeks later on tour and Bob comes up to me—at the time I was closing my opening set with ‘Fortunate Son’ by CCR [Credence Clearwater Revival]. So we are rockin’ and we thought it was cool. We thought it was great for the crowd and of course Bob had heard us do it. So he comes up to me and gives me this CD that has been burned. He said, ‘Hey, I was watching CMT, I heard you say I have never given you any advice and so I am going to give you some advice. This is me and the Silver Bullet Band covering “Fortunate Son” back in 1980. It’s some obscure show in Des Moines, Iowa, or wherever it was, so here you go. Check it out.’ First of all, it was amazing to have this bootleg version of this song that nobody has ever heard Bob do. But I liked how he was like, ‘My advice to you is to maybe do your version of “Fortunate Son” more like we would have done it.’ I was just kinda awesome.”
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