To say music runs through the blood of singer/songwriter Robert Ball would be a spot-on description of a singer who continues the lineage of a six-generation family firmly rooted in the arts. The Canadian born, multi-gifted artist cites heroes who further inspired his musical excellence, whether it’s R&B/soul icon Luther Vandross or jazz giant Sarah Vaughn. As a headliner on a cruise ship, on an intimate stage, or opening for CeCe Winans and others, Ball’s versatility runs across the gamut from Broadway to blues. Yet, his creamy tenor voice is most utilized as an indie soul artist who has self-released an E.P. entitled Need, and several singles. For his latest contribution and our First Listen focus, Ball offers “River (Into You),” a track that speaks to the spiritual side of his artistry.
A warm sea of keyboards decorated with kalimba greets the listener as Ball’s flexible voice imagines the power of water in the life cycle: “I run, run by the river and your image glistens by my side/I touch, touch the water as it ripples from the tide.” The song builds to a mighty crescendo illustrating the ebbs and flows of the river in this encouraging spiritual journey. Many indie vocalists are currently running under the radar, but “River (Into You)” should be a vehicle that catapults Ball towards a bigger national platform.
By Peggy Oliver