The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 24, 2013

Irv Ball puts a bounce in the local music scene

By Jeffrey Allen Federowicz
For The Daily Item

BLOOMSBURG — Follow the bouncing ball … follow it to Bloomsburg tonight and you’ll hear some excellent music served up totally raw.

The music comes from the songmaker with the distinct moniker, Irv Ball. He relies solely on his musical abilities to create an acoustic evening of eclectic tunes that showcase his impressive skills as a musician.

“I love to sing and am fortunate to be able to do something I truly love for a living and get paid for it. I play everything from James Taylor to The Beatles to Bon Jovi. I take a lot of requests and if I don’t know the song I can often play something similar or a different song from the same artist,” Ball said. “I love taking requests and always do a lot of them during a show. I like being able to play a wide range of songs from different artists and since I’ve been making music for about 20 years, I know a lot of songs.”

With a relaxed style of playing, rock star appearance and a voice that brings emotion and depth to each lyric, one has to wonder why this guy isn’t famous.

A Bloomsburg resident originally from New Jersey, this talented performer finds the simplicity of acoustic brings the song’s lyrics and meaning to the forefront instead of being covered in layers of electric noise.

Ball, who also fronts the band Irv Ball and the Breakers, noted that a majority of songs transfer easily from a rock format to the more natural sound of acoustic, including tunes from King of Leon and Nickelback.

When it comes to songs, Ball’s own life could be the foundation for a tune since it’s filled with both hardship and success.

Raised in a blue collar family, both of Ball’s parents were hard workers with his father toiling away with a factory job that often left him with headaches or other physical ailments.

With limited funds, Ball knew a college education was not on his radar and what no doubt would be was a factory job, for the next 40 years of his life.

“My parents are the greatest and when I was growing up they really worked hard and they were kind of gearing me up that I should get a job at the factory my dad worked at,” he said. “I just couldn’t see myself doing that type of work the rest of my life and had to find something else.”

With a passionate love of music, Ball began performing and slowly, he built up a reputation as being a talented and hardworking musician whose music is filled with an honest, soulful style.

In addition to giving private guitar lessons, Ball averages three gigs a week at venues across the Valley.

“Sure, I would like to win the lottery and be rich, but I am very fortunate and love what I do. I teach a great group of kids and have an amazing group of friends and I get to make music for a living,” he said. “And when I am playing, I always give it 110 percent. I want people who come hear me to have a good time and forget about the problems of life for a while and just have a great evening, some amazing food and listen to some good music.”