The Balos Family are returning with their brand new bluegrass Gospel album on April 7th. Built Upon The Rock will find the family members exploring issues of faith and life through songs such as "Every Soul," "Just One Cup of Water," "Cross to the Other Side" and the title cut.
A love of music has always been part of the Balos family tradition. Mother of seven, Ramona Balos says, "On any given day in our home, you'll always find someone singing, humming, playing an instrument or listening to a CD. Music seems to be as natural to us as breathing."
The musical adventure began in earnest when two of Mike and Ramona's children, Bonnie and Jimmy, began taking violin lessons. Soon, everyone in this remarkable family was playing an instrument ... or two.
With nine voices in the Balos Family, there is always chatter, always activity, and often laughter. There is an array of hobbies and interests from outdoor activities and taxidermy, to cooking and crafts, to photography, history and reading. But when they pick up their instruments, it is pure harmony ... deeply rooted in love, faith and a mission to share that faith.
"We seek to be an encouragement to the believer and a witness to the lost," Jimmy says.
The Balos Family travels throughout the states, playing Bluegrass Gospel music at churches, festivals, theaters and more. Their first concert was 2002, outside of their home church in Michigan for an Easter Sunday service. One year later, they recorded their first album on an 8-track digital recorder they'd purchased. Over the years, the family has played venues including the Renfro Valley Barn Dance, Bean Blossom Music Park, and the Texas Troubadour Theater, and recorded at the Skaggs Family studio. They have shared the stage with some of the top names in Bluegrass, Americana and Southern Gospel Music, including Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Dailey and Vincent, The Easter Brothers, The Isaacs, Marty Stuart, the Chuck Wagon Gang, Marty Raybon, the Collingsworth family, Jeff and Sheri Easter and more. It was at an Easter Brothers concert in 2007 that the family met and became friends with Russell Easter, Jr., who co-produced several Balos Family projects with Jared Easter.
Like their earlier albums, Built Upon The Rock includes original songs written by members of the family. Jimmy, Ben and Bonnie are the main songwriters and as their experience has grown, so has their ability to collaborate, critique and delve into more personal themes. Kenny, Jenna, Nate and Joel round out the picking and harmonizing.
The music of the Balos Family, whether in concert or recorded, is entertaining for sure, but it also leaves audiences feeling refreshed and encouraged in Christ. "What we do," Jimmy says, "is a ministry."