Max Stalling





























Max Stalling
Max Stalling


MAX STALLING SERVES UP A BANQUET FOR HIS NEW SONGS Respected Texas singer-songwriter feeds his creative passion with cohesive body of work Texas country singer-songwriter Max Stalling pens tunes that connect, songs that form a snapshot of his life, songs that make an album. Five years after his last record, 2010’s relaxed honky-tonking opus Home to You, Stalling felt compelled to mold a full-length record. One-off singles are great, he admits, but there is such artistic strength in a cohesive body of work. Enter Banquet, Stalling’s sixth studio album, which is set for an early fall release on his longtime imprint Blind Nello Records. Produced by A-list Texas music helmsman Lloyd Maines and recorded at The Zone in Dripping Springs, Banquet boasts 11 tracks played by Jason Steinsultz on bass, Tom Lewis on drums, Bryce Clarke on guitar and mandolin, Heather Stalling (Max’s wife) on fiddle, Maines on steel guitar, and Stalling himself on guitar and lead vocals. The project was engineered by Pat Manske. In many ways Banquet is quintessential Max Stalling – a batch of uncluttered, melodic, beautifully played vignettes about life, the oddities of the human condition, struggles, broken hearts, and even one titled “All the Way,” which is about “an existential discussion of the rarified condition of being,” Stalling wryly declares. He offers a pair of spirited covers, the Beatles’ “Two of Us” and Doug Sahm’s “Beautiful Texas Sunshine,” and co-writes with buddies Jason Boland and Mark David Manders on the lead track “Night’s Pay In My Boots.” Wife Heather, whom he married in 2007, is Stalling’s writing partner on “You’d Better Be.” Banquet is actually quite pivotal for Stalling. Like all true artists, the making of Banquet tested his mettle. He experienced writer’s block during the crafting of these songs, and he questioned whether the man he is now, a 48- year-old happily married stepfather, still has the same ardor he felt back in 1997 when he released his debut effort, Comfort In the Curves. One listen to Banquet reveals the clear answer – he unequivocally still has that same passion. Yet Stalling has certainly earned the right to not only take his time between releases, but also reevaluate his artistic prowess. He consistently plays at least 150 shows a year all over Texas – Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Amarillo, Ft. Worth, Dallas, Plano, McKinney, Grapevine, Galveston, Austin, Luckenbach, Gruene – and occasionally ventures to surrounding states. He’s steadfastly cemented himself as an important and respected regional singer-songwriter with a deeply loyal following. Songs are top priority. Stalling aims to give his songs an outlet to live, breathe and coalesce. On Banquet stellar cuts include “No One Else But Lonely,” a classic, broken hearted country ballad; “Smaller Place,” his jovial ode to small town life; “Convenient Lovers,” a dialogue between two interested if uncommitted paramours that features fiery vocals by Andie Kay Joyner of blacktopGYPSY; and “Little Apone,” a swinging number seemingly about the Sgt. Apone character from 1986’s Aliens, but with a whole lot more to say. “This song is supposed to exist and operate on two levels,” Stalling explains. “First, this is the back story of the character in Aliens. This is how Sgt. Apone grew up wanting to see the world, the universe. Secondly, the song is an exercise for a songwriter needing material and ideas for an impending recording project.” The tune’s bridge says it all: “Everybody wants to know what’s next and you’re standing there kind of perplexed…there’s an answer but it won’t come to mind.” Stalling always figured out his next move. The son of Hal and Jeanne Stalling, born in Crystal City, Texas, he is the youngest of six children. Stalling attended school in nearby Carrizo Springs. He would eventually venture to Texas A&M University where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in food science. In graduate school at A&M, Stalling had a roommate who owned a guitar. The instrument would prove to be Stalling’s future. After spending his adolescent and teenage years consumed with pop and rock hit-makers of the ‘70s and ‘80s such as AC/DC, ZZ Top, Journey, Billy Idol, Loverboy, The Cars, Cheap Trick, ELO, Boston and a slew of others, the college student was now writing poetry and observational prose. He picked up the guitar in 1990. “Somewhere about that time it occurred to me that I needed to stop consuming and start creating.” But Stalling wasn’t quite ready for sound checks and stages. He spent a decade working in the food industry, including five years as a research scientist developing new products for Frito-Lay in Plano. By 1991 Stalling had moved to Dallas. He didn’t know a soul and consequently felt disconnected, like an outsider. About two years later he ran across the ubiquitous public radio station KNON-FM, which led him to Adair’s Saloon, and the now-defunct Naomi’s Lounge and Three Teardrops Tavern. It was there that Stalling found his musical family. He soaked up the influential talents of Texas music legends Guy Clark, Robert Earl Keen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt. He formed friendships with emerging Texas singer-songwriters Mark David Manders, Ed Burleson, Brian Burns, Tommy Alverson, Larry Joe Taylor and the late Ronny Spears. Stalling was now leading a double life. On the weekdays he was a devoted food scientist at Frito-Lay. On the weekends he was a budding Texas singer-songwriter. Max Stalling, the artist, was born. “Somewhere in there all of those elements came together,” he remembers. “I did it very quietly. I picked up the guitar and started writing songs. I had been piddling around with guitar and prose; it was those people and that scene that gave me real purpose and understanding of what could be.” In addition to the aforementioned Comfort In the Curves and Home to You, Stalling released 2000’s Wide Afternoon, 2002’s One of the Ways and 2007’s Topaz City. He has two live albums, 2006’s Sell-Out and 2009’s Live From the Granada. With each effort Stalling further hones his signature style, an amalgamation of traditional country, folk and Western swing with touches of classic rock, R&B and jazz. For him performing onstage and being an artist is all about having fans hear those songs he’s written. “I have always approached everything from that perspective – what is the best thing for these songs?” Max Stalling creates songs that fit together to form a snapshot in time. He fuels his muse with songs that connect, songs that relate his stories. “I love to write songs,” he says. “I’m fascinated with seeing them come to life. These songs are like my children. Songs are funny…you can literally think them into existence. A song comes from nothing, less than a blank piece of paper, and then, as if by magic, there is a song, something tangible and also intangible.” Banquet gives Stalling’s latest crop of songs a home. That’s a tuneful feast for everybody. By Mario Tarradell

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05/01/2007 - Max Stalling Q&A - Read More
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Average Rating : 0              Total Reviews: 104


Max Stalling  06/17/2007            
SEPage
Topaz City is spelended album. The song themes and tempo are varied. As usual the stories music is the strongest part with the vocals being the weakest part of the album. Max hs trouble with the high notes and it shows in a song or two. All the material is new and I was suprized to see that new songs from his live album were not included. It is a very strong album and if you like Max you will like this new work.
Max Stalling  06/03/2007            
I was worried about what this album would sound like. No need its just as good as his past albums! Its true Max fashion and the music is clever and true just like all of his other music!
Max Stalling  05/21/2007            
cooter
i like max stalling and i think he a great person. But whoever wrote that article on him is the biggest poophead ive ever heard of. i took offense about his statement towards people who wear caps, and i would like him to know that a lot of true farmers and ranchers wear caps and none of them have ever worn a cowboy hat in their life.
Max Stalling  05/01/2007            
MS
Date Correction: SATURDAY, MAY 19 at Minute Maid Park
Max Stalling  05/01/2007            
TS
He is elite--and he is also playing at Minute Maid Park, prior to Jason Boland and the Stragglers on MAY 18, 2007. Both Max Stalling and Jason Boland will be holding concerts before the Astros game vs. the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Max Stalling  05/01/2007            
bracher
Max is elite. There's no other way to put it.
Max Stalling  04/29/2007            
Dave
I've been fortunate to catch several of Max's shows recently and his new songs from the soon to be released CD Topaz City are great! I just placed my order in advance so that I can listen to all the songs on his new CD. From the sampling Max has been singing at his live shows it's already proving difficult to pick a favorite. Right now I'm leaning toward 'Goodnight Never Meant Good Bye' but 'Ping Pong Pool' and 'Only The Good Die Young' are a lot of fun at the live shows. I'm looking forward hearing all the new songs on this CD. Dave
Max Stalling  02/05/2007            
Mike
Been wanting to see Max for a while. Finally saw him at Executive Surf Club Sat night. It was a GREAT evening. Keep writing and singing those terrific songs.
Max Stalling  01/11/2007            
Jason
I saw Max in Steamboat Springs, Colorado last week. He was great in person. I sure hope he is there again next year. My favorite show of all of the 30 shows this past week was Max Stalling.
Max Stalling  12/20/2006            
sherry
saw him last nigth at the Verzion in Houston, GREAT,HE WAS JUST GREAT
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