Local cowboy event lures country singer Ball to town


According to those close to him, convincing Grammy-nominated country singer David Ball to visit small-town Texas isn’t really much of a hard sell.

“David loves cowboy music, he is always excited to come to Texas because of the amazing atmosphere, food, and proud people that it has to offer,'' said Scott Metko, Ball’s manager – and drummer – since 2008.

Ball brings his 25th anniversary tour commemorating his breakthrough 1994 album “Thinkin'Problem” to Madisonville Saturday, playing at the local National Day of the Cowboy event at the Kimbro Center.

The National Day of the Cowboy has been observed on the fourth Saturday in July since 2005. Saturday’s events around the square in downtown Madisonville will be the first related local celebration.

The event for the National Day of the Cowboy is being led and organized by Madisonville resident Rita D. Fannin, owner of owner of Moon River Ranch and Studios.

“I think it is very important to bring our community together to celebrate our history, veterans, and to remember the rich cowboy roots that we came from,” Fannin said. “I have been a fan of David Ball for over 40 years and when I was thinking of who should perform for the National Day of the Cowboy, I couldn’t think of no better person that embodied what I was trying to do here more than David.”

Ball, originally from South Carolina, first started his music career in a trio by the name of “Uncle Walt’s Band” in the late 1970s. He graduated into a solo career, landing a recording contract with Warner Bros.

His first album release in 1994, “Thinkin' Problem,” hit No. 6 on the U.S. Country charts, producing five radio singles and achieving Platinum status, signifying more than a million copies sold.

Metko said as Ball’s career pushed forward, Ball’s love for all things country and cowboy grew stronger the more time he spent in Texas, making him an easy choice for a cowboy celebration.

The Madisonville National Day of the Cowboy event will also feature a trail ride and wagon parade into downtown around 8:30 Saturday morning, and a barbecue dinner at 5:30 p.m.

Other activities include a 6 a.m. country-style breakfast, free for “hometown heroes, cowboys, and veterans” ($5 for others), performances by musicians, cowboy artisans, poets, authors, and storytellers in front of the county courthouse from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Include music performers are Bo Porter, winner of the 2003 APRN Country Song of the Year for the Texas Music Awards in 2014, and Misslette, The Singing Cowgirl, who was nominated by the Academy of Western Artists for Western Female Singer of the Year between 2003-05 and was also nominated for Rising Star and Entertainer of the Year in 2003.

Ball will take the stage following the barbecue dinner, performing songs from “Thinkin' Problem” and his 2018 album “Come See Me.” Tickets for the concert are $25 in advance and $35 at the door of the Kimbro Center.