Omnivore Recordings has been making its way through the wildly underappreciated catalog of Uncle Walt’s Band, recently releasing Anthology: Those Boys From Carolina, They Sure Enough Could Sing …, a comprehensive career overview that reintroduced the band, then moving on to the self-titled debut album, adding eleven bonus tracks, and wil soon tackle An American in Texas.
On November 15, 2019, Omnivore will take a slight detour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Thinkin’ Problem, the first solo album by Uncle Walt’s David Ball. Ball had grown up in South Carolina and joined Uncle Walt’s Band members Walter Hyatt and Champ Hood in relocating to Austin, Texas, where they hoped to attain a record deal and exposure beyond the regional success they had enjoyed. That breakthrough was not to be. After releasing three albums, the band broke up in 1983, with the individual members pursuing solo careers.
David Ball moved to Nashville, and spent most of the ’80s looking for a hit much like he had with his partners in Uncle Walt’s Band. After three singles for RCA failed to ignite a spark, he moved on to Warner Bros., and 1994’s Thinkin’ Problem was the result. The title track was the lead single and shot to number 2 on the Billboard Country Music Charts, number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on Canada’s RPM100 chart. More hit singles followed — “When The Thought of You Catches Up With Me” “Look What Followed Me Home,” “What Do You Want With His Love” and “Honky Tonk Healin'” — eventually driving the album to double platinum status and landing Ball with a Male Vocalist of the Year Grammy® Award nomination the following year.
Two more albums for Warner Bros. followed, as well as albums for Dualtone, Wildcatter, Shanachie, and E1. Like many in these modern musical times, Ball founded his own record label, Public Records, releasing The Greatest Christmas (2011) and Come See Me (2018). To this day, David Ball is out on the road crossing the country, artistically pushing forward at every turn, performing new original music, but now ready to take a look back at the landmark Thinkin’ Problem recording for its 25th anniversary. The reissue is fully remastered and features eight previously unissued tracks. A 1993 demo of “Give Me Back My Heart” sits alongside a new 2019 recording of “What Do You Want With This Love” and five additional new recordings. An alternate version of the title cut, requested by and delivered to Warner Music Nashville president Jim Ed Norman, and never before heard, is also included in this collection. Additionally, the booklet contains vintage photos and remarks from original producer Blake Chancey, Lyle Lovett, Kix Brooks, the Bellamy Brothers, Terri Clark, and others, plus David’s track-by-track comments.
1. Thinkin’ Problem
2. Look What Followed Me Home
3. Blowin’ Smoke
4. When The Thought Of You Catches Up With Me
5. Honky Tonk Healin’
6. A Walk On The Wild Side Of Life
7. Down At The Bottom Of A Broken Heart
8. What Do You Want With This Love
9. Don’t Think Twice
Previously Unissued Bonus Tracks
11. What Do You Want With This Love (2019 Version)
12. I’ve Got A Heart With Your Name On It
13. Give Me Back My Heart (1993 Demo)
14. Goodbye Heartache, Hello Honky Tonk
15. Circle Of Friends
16. I’ve Got My Baby On My Mind
17. The King Of Jackson Mississippi
18. Thinkin’ Problem (Alternate Version)