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What's Idaho Rock?

The Aaron Ball band is taking our homegrown sound international!

Article by Rob Lanterman

Photography by The Aaron Ball Band

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

“Idaho Rock” isn’t a common term, despite the legacies of artists like Paul Revere & The Raiders or Built to Spill. However, internationally-recognized Pocatello-born singer/songwriter Aaron Ball and his band - aka The Aaron Ball Band - have been described as such, and embrace the term. “We have a unique genre of music here,” Ball says. “Every musician I know from Idaho has a unique sound. Reckless Kelly, Micky & the Motor Cars... We have this unique country rock feel.”

Being part of this sound's legacy, Ball and his bandmates refuse to keep Idaho Rock confined to the Gem State. Since first playing out-of-state at Seattle’s Hempfest in 2012, The Aaron Ball Band has toured Australia, New Zealand (where Ball lived for a time), Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and several Caribbean countries. Regardless, Ball can't shake his roots from his output. “I thought I was a rock and roll musician. Being an American in New Zealand, I was a country guy, no matter what I did or said." Thus, he became somewhat of an Idahoan musical ambassador, boasting over 23,000 Spotify listeners and sharing the stage with everyone from Nick Jonas to Smash Mouth. “When we tour, people are curious," he says. "'There’s music in Idaho? I thought there [were] just potatoes.’”

In the last decade, The Aaron Ball band put out several releases and earned multiple awards. Their song "Omaha" won them recognition at the Academia Music Awards in Los Angeles in April 2017. Ball also received a vocalist award for the song, “This Road." Though they recorded their last album in Aukland, they are turning locally to Steve Fulton at Audio Lab for the next release. “Phenomenal stuff comes out of here. We decided to stay home for this one.”

Almost completely independent, The Aaron Ball Band has turned to GoFundMe to cover the cost of their upcoming release. “Crowdfunding’s a unique thing. I think people are skeptical about it anymore,” he says, although he's optimistic. “People are pretty supportive of music and arts.” You can find The Aaron Ball band on all streaming platforms and social media. And to come full circle, the band just played in Boise with future dates on their Facebook Page: @aaronballband