Since his 2007 debut, Time, Matthew Ballard has been taking his brand of Americana to the road, lighting up dance halls and bars across the Lonestar State. And rather than kicking back on his days off, he's been working hard at Shine Studios in Austin. The fruit of his labor, Midnight Drive, confidently steers it's way onto the airwaves at the end of July 2008 and promises to turn heads with it's carefully crafted songs and staying power. Swirling with pedal steels and twangy guitars that melt seamlessly into lively fiddles and intricate instrumentation, Midnight Drive brings it's country chops to the table. For this recording, Ballard calls on the help of some Texas legends, including Redd Volkaert, Cindy Cashdollar, and Paul Pearcy as well as the musical contributions by Justin Douglas. Their presence on the record gives it a commanding stride. The result is an Americana gem steeped in tradition and packed with Ballard's inventive takes on folk-art conventions. Midnight Drive highlights Ballard's songwriting, which features poignant lyrics and infectious hooks. He pulls from a variety of influences, from the laid back swagger of foundational Texas artists like Steve Earle and Guy Clark, to the polished, storytelling style of Nashville greats such as Don Williams.