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GhostWood Songwriters

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Gary Ballan

I have been writing lyrics since 2003 and I have about 150 lyrical songs and several poems in my repertoire. I write mostly about love and life experiences. I use personal life experiences as well as events that happen to others for my songs. I also get much inspiration from other songwriters and performers.

I was born in Regina, SK. My parents taught me strong values of honesty and dignity. My father was an immigrant from Romania while my mother is of Austrian/Polish decent. I have two siblings, [older sister and younger brother], who both still reside in Regina.

I had always loved music and songs. In my pre-teen and early teen years country music was my favourite. I also enjoyed the popular music that I would hear on the radio and see on television by singers such as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Andrew Sisters, McGuire Sisters, etc. As I grew into my mid to late teens Rock & Roll took over as my preferred choice of music. I would listen to all the Rock & Roll greats and buy many of their records. Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, the Beatles and the Beach Boys were some of my favourites and I have a selective Elvis record collection. Into my 20’s my music preferences moved from Rock & Roll to what is now known as Classic Rock with groups such as Deep Purple, Grand Funk, Led Zeppelin, etc. Although my music preferences had changed after my teen years I still did follow Country music. Into my 30’s and 40’s I began to notice what I was missing in Country and I began to follow Country music again. I also became a listener to the blues and I enjoy Fats Waller and especially B.B. King. I love how B.B. King wails on his guitar. Into my 50’s I discovered Bluegrass and it has become a favourite. I think I always liked Bluegrass and I can remember hearing this type of music on the radio and on TV when I was young. I like most musical genres except Hip Hop, Rap, Heavy Metal and Punk Rock.

My brother Kevin plays guitar and we have on occasion worked together on some of my songs. I write the lyrics and he tries to add the music to them. We haven’t gotten very far as collaborators though. Neither of us can sing so a vocalist is much needed to add some value to what we try to create.

I have had several songs recorded on Demo CD’s. Four were done by Paramount Group in Nashville while the others were done by Rod Hermanson at Ghostwood Studio and Blackbox Studio with vocalists Katya Yushchenko and Karen Vande Vyvere.

I work full time as a Records Coordinator with the Alberta Government. Previous to this I was employed for 35 years with the Government of Canada in various capacities within the information management discipline. The final 20 or so years of my Canadian Government career I was in the middle management position of Information Management Specialist with Transport Canada in Edmonton.

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