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About the Artist
But entertaining audiences never took one form for Mark or Derek. The two best friends have been playing and making music together for more than a decade, in between touring theatrical productions and ballroom competitions. And like every achievement they've crossed off their collective to-do list, a career in music was a dream they worked towards tirelessly. "To play gigs in London, we often had to take the Tube," Derek recalls. "We'd carry all our gear -- amps, guitars, keyboards -- down those mile-long escalators and onto the train. For a while, we were doing that almost every weekend!"
Mark and Derek's love of music was apparent from a very young age. Mark got his first guitar when he was seven, around the same time Derek began playing the drums. By the time they were in their early teens, the two had both mastered the guitar and began writing songs that showcased their unique talents: three and four-part harmonies (a skill honed during years in the musical theatre circuit), Mark's percussive, Flamenco-flavored playing style and a natural affinity for irresistible melodies.
Music of all forms and genres constantly filled the Ballas' London home, where Derek lived since the age of 12, and was also a key component to their dance routines, so the pull was natural. The guys' musical bond, however, came from a seemingly unlikely place: a Korn concert at London's Wembley Arena. "Until that point, I wasn't allowed to listen to bands like Nirvana," says Derek, who, along with his sister Julianne (herself a two-time Dancing with the Stars champion), was raised in a very conservative household. Mark, however, was determined to open his friend's mind. "I was like, 'Dude, stop being a wuss,' and I took him to see Korn for his first concert," he says. "We threw him on top of the crowd and it was like the transformation had been made."
While still years away from entering a pub legally, the conversion stirred hopes of becoming a touring band and Mark went to task finding players to round out the as-yet-unnamed project. He didn't have to search far. Harry Sullivan, whose parents were close with the Ballas family, was enlisted to play drums, and Emily Grace, a classically trained pianist and classmate from London's Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, was a no-brainer for keyboards. They found their bassist, Sam Marder, by cold-calling Surrey's prestigious Academy of Contemporary Music. "We phoned up the school and sort of made up this story about how we were getting signed and needed a bass player," says Derek. "They gave us three phone numbers and Sam was the first person we called."
That impulsiveness served them well in the years to come. Case in point: when the guys were both offered spots on the U.S. version of Dancing with the Stars, they accepted, though they worried that music would end up taking a backseat. "Moving from London to Los Angeles, where we didn't know anyone... We just weren't sure," Mark explains. "But then we thought, we've been sitting around in England for years struggling. Forget it, let's just go. So we arrived in LA with no car and nowhere to live, just a guitar and a suitcase. And since then, we've been working towards our dream."
Top Customer Reviews
Many of their songs are about their own experiences with love and heartbreak (Fall, Devastated), but despite such emotional subjects, some of these songs just make you want to dance (Do You Love Me, Birthday).
Their first single from the album, Do It For You, is one of my favorite tracks. It was co-written by new American Idol judge Kara Dioguardi, and it's just another one of those songs that I can't get out of my head. I also enjoy Together Faraway--a mellow song with a very catchy chorus, and Longing For--a sweet ballad.
The CD is also an interactive CD--just pop it into your computer to go directly to various Ballas Hough Band sites, such as their Facebook and MySpace pages.
I really enjoyed Ballas Hough Band's debut album, BHB, and I already can't wait for their sophomore album!
Although this CD is a few years old now it shows Derek and Mark Ballas in a new and different light, as pop/rock singers. If you ever saw their show when the BHB was still together you would know what a great show they put on that incorporated singing and dance and a touch of humor. If you were not so privileged go to youtube and search Ballas Hough Band and be prepared to be delighted.
It's sad that the band is no longer together but both men are continuing music careers. Mark is writing and recording as a solo artist and Derek is developing his singing skills for future projects and having seen him in California this past summer I can tell you he is well on his way to being a multiple threat talent.
But in the meantime enjoy this pleasant introduction to the boyz in the band.
The songs on this CD are catchy toe tappers for the most part with very bland but kid-friendly lyrics. No parent would tear their hair out when this one plays. And while I could not really tell you after hearing it what the songs were about, they are upbeat and "feel good." Unabashed and unapologetic bubble gum, and nothing is wrong with that every now and again, although it could be safely said that the music verges on having a case of the "terminal cutes."
I will say that the standout, though, is the backup female vocalist. This woman needs her own album. Great voice, and I would have loved to have heard more of her.
Great party music and I could not imagine the typical teen-ager disliking it.
Recommended for teens, lovers of "boy band" sounds, and people who like their music uncomplicated, upbeat and breezy. Otherwise, no.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love these guys. Great talent: dancing, playing instruments and singing.Published 15 months ago by DeniseG
I really like Mark Ballas and Derek Hough. They seem to be very unique and talented young men. This cd lets you in to know them a bit more through their music, and at the same... Read morePublished on May 26, 2013 by Scott Patrick
It is not worth. I made a mistake to buy. God bless them. Mr. Mark Ballas & Mr. Derek Hough are a very very dancers, but not a good singers. - J. modyPublished on May 6, 2012 by Jay B. Mody
I am quite impressed with the musical ability of the Ballas and Hough. The album is great.Published on December 16, 2009 by S. Blas
I have to be honest - I originally ordered BHB because I watch Dancing with the Stars and because I was impressed by Derek's performance in his duet with his sister on her album. Read morePublished on October 26, 2009 by Barbz
Very nice mix of pop with a bit of techno sound. Defintely great driving music. Highly recommended!Published on May 23, 2009 by J. Parris
I don't know what happened to my review but I guess I will have to gush again! I've been following these guys since the fall of 08 when they were Almost Amy. Read morePublished on April 21, 2009 by Missy
I have no idea who these guys are. I don't watch "Dancing With The Stars" or any other such competition shows, and all I know of Ballas Hough Band is what I just browsed on the... Read morePublished on April 16, 2009 by tehuti_88
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This song is about a guy how wants to be important to his girl and take care of her. It was written by the most gifted musician that i've seen in a while. You need to listen to the whole song because this one line takes it out of context. It was written because of past relationship experiences... Read More
Feb 12, 2009 by Missy | See all 4 posts
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