Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gramma's Got A Lover: Catching Up With Rod Ballou

Country singer and songwriter Rod Ballou sat behind me in high school typing class. Except for my sitting by Rod, typing class evokes a host of mind dulling memories such as a s d f {space} j k l ; {space} and so on.  Rod decided to point his fingers in another direction, toward his guitar.

I caught up with Rod on Facebook and more recently in person at our high school reunion in October.  Although he's not quit his day job -- he owns and operates a construction company in Texas -- Rod's taking his music pursuits seriously.

When Rod posted "Gramma's Got a Lover" to Facebook, I curiously listened.  The catchy tune reminded me of my single female friends who have grandchildren and boyfriends.  So I had to inquire: is "Gramma" a real person or the figment of Rod's imagination?  Yes, she's real, but her name's been withheld to protect the innocent.

The story goes something like this.  "Gramma" was about to turn 50 and began to question all the things she had believed.  "Is this how I'm going to spend the rest of my life?" she pondered wistfully.  Why not grandbabies and a tatoo?  "Gramma" has one, but not in the location mentioned in the song.  A girl's gotta have some secrets.

The "Gramma" songwriting session happened when another of our high school chums, Randy Brown, visited Rod in Texas. "We pounded it out in three hours," Rod noted, "and we knew it was good from the first line we sang ... sometimes songs just write themselves."

And everybody wants to know ... is there a Grandpa?  Rod and Randy have been asked many times what happened to Grandpa.  But references to Grandpa are omitted to allow listeners to draw their own conclusions.

"Gramma's Got A Lover" has already gone places, like to Nashville.  Of course, the agents in Nashville want to know what transformed "Gramma."   Rod and Randy are working on another verse to shed light on her "awakening":

Now she's no spring chicken
She says where's it written
Love stops when you turn grey
There's no one home and this being alone
Is gonna stop today

It's certain "Gramma" has got a new attitude.  Whether you picture her as 80 or 50, her groove is back with a vengeance.

Rod is patient with the song-pitching journey:  "Someone once said, 'hit songs are not written, they are rewritten,' so we'll see."  And ... try to envision what the video "Gramma's Got A Lover" will be like!  Especially if she takes her Geritol that day.  {yummy}

Disclosure: I received NO compensation for this review.

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