The Balos Family are returning with their brand new bluegrass Gospel album on April 7th. "Built Upon The Rock" will find the family members exploring issues of faith and life through songs such as "Every Soul," "Just One Cup of Water," "Cross to the Other Side" and the title cut.
A love of music has always been part of the Balos family tradition. Mother of seven, Ramona Balos says, "On any given day in our home, you'll always find someone singing, humming, playing an instrument or listening to a CD. Music seems to be as natural to us as breathing."
The musical adventure began in earnest when two of Mike and Ramona's children, Bonnie and Jimmy, began taking violin lessons. Soon, everyone in this remarkable family was playing an instrument ... or two.With nine voices in the Balos Family, there is always chatter, always activity, and often laughter. There is an array of hobbies and interests from outdoor activities and taxidermy, to cooking and crafts, to photography, history and reading. But when they pick up their instruments, it is pure harmony ... deeply rooted in love, faith and a mission to share that faith.
Hallels: Thank you so much for this opportunity. How did the Balos Family start singing? Does everyone of you know how to play an instrument?
Bonnie: we've always had the love of singing. More of something we were born with! We'd sing around the piano with mom as young kids,Mom teaching us the harmony parts to sing along. Then we would go to nursing homes to sing for the people there. As we got older, Jimmy and I had an interest in learning to play the fiddle, so we took a year and a half of lessons. One by one each member of the family started picking up instruments. We received our first phone call to play at a church in 2002. From then on, we've gotten busier and busier!
Ramona: Singing in our family has always been a part of our lives! From the time I would rock each of my babies, to tucking them in at night, or just singing around the house, our home has always been filled with some sort of music. On any given day you can visit our home and hear singing, humming,instruments practicing, someone working on a new song idea or at least a cd playing! To ask us to quit would be almost as hard as not breathing! We all know how to play instruments. The younger boys are still in the learning stages of mandolin and guitar, but their 11 & 6! At this stage in their lives, we're more concerned with them simply developing a love of music that they can have the rest of their lives.
Hallels: You have a close connection with the Easter Brothers. How did you start working with Russell Easter Jr.?
Mike: "We had been performing as an ending act at The Bluegate Theater in Shipshewana, IN. for several years when they started an Easter Family Reunion show which included Jeff and Sheri Easter, The Lewis Family, and The Easter Brothers. We were invited to open for them. We met Russell Easter Jr. that night, and a strong friendship blossomed from that start. We later began doing all of our recording at the Easters in North Carolina. They have contributed so much to what our music has developed into. Russell and I have become the best of friends. He and his wife Barbara are wonderful people. Their entire family has been a great encouragement to our family and our music for several years. Our music would not be what it is today without their influence.
Hallels: Congras on the your new album "Built Upon the Rock," what are some lessons you want listeners to grasp after hearing this album?
Ben: "The message of salvation....the message of hope for all who will call upon the name of the Lord to be saved."
Jimmy: "my hopes for this album would be that listeners would be refreshed and encouraged."
Hallels: What are you most excited about this new record?
Ben: "releasing songs we've written ourselves. Our message has become personal. This is who we are and what we believe in with all of our hearts. May God use our feeble efforts to reach the lost, encourage believing Christians, and to bring glory to His name."
Jimmy: "I really like how each song flows both lyrically and musically. I'm also thrilled with how we collaborated together to bring out the best lyrically for each song!"
Hallels: I am most intrigued by the song "Zombie in a Pew," tell us what was the inspiration behind this song?
Jimmy: "Zombie in a Pew" was inspired when our pastor uttered the phrase in a sermon. As soon as he said it, I immediately began writing the badic concept down, because I didn't want to lose the idea. Several months later, while at a revival meeting, I began getting the words for the first verse, and ended up finishing it on the way to the recording studio. I never envisioned us actually recording it, but after everyone gave it a listen, we decided to give it a try.
Hallels: Has there been a single released off the album yet? And if there is, tell us what the single is about?
Ben: "I wrote the song "I Love You More". We released this song as a single through Crossroads, and it has been well received, and I hope a blessing to all who hear it. The story describes the greatest love that has ever existed. It is the self sacrificing love of giving one's life for the life of a friend. In the first verse, it describes a soldier who is willing to give his life for his country. In the second verse, it talks about Jesus Christ laying down His life for all of mankind. The Bible says "that there is no greater love than this in that a man lay down his life for a friend." I would like to close by saying God Bless to our troops! Thank you for your service! And to those who have come to know this love that Christ gave for us....go out and share the message of this song, "I Love You More."
Hallels: I believe you are currently touring in support of the album, for our readers who would like to catch you live or/and purchase your new album, where can they go
Bonnie: visit our website at www.balosfamily.com and/or our family's facebook page "the Balos Family" to keep up with the latest news! To purchase our new album "Built Upon the Rock" you can either message us, or order online through cdbaby.com. You can also download mp3's through iTunes. For more information you can personally give us a call @ 269-695-2213 or 269-426-1999.
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