Music at the Mill: Volume 1

The Murfreesboro Pulse review by Bruce Harmon, July 2013

While our fair town’s spirits are lifted because of the upcoming Macon Days, some may think it’d nice to stay on that old-time cloud as much as possible while anticipating the July festivities. Readyville, Tenn.’s, Johnny B. and the Balladeers’ newest album, Music at the Mill: Vol. 1, is a great way to help keep the merry morale afloat. Ripe with old-time/traditional/country-western feelgood vibes, Music at the Mill stands as a good, rough representation of what these genres are supposed to be about. The album’s 20 tracks (they only list 19 on the case’s back cover, so happy hunting for the gem, listeners) were all recorded live on the premises of Readyville Mill by Johnny B and the band.

The band came about after Tomm Brady, owner/operator of the mill, began producing his own organic flour for use in the mill’s restaurant, which opened soon after an extensive restoration in 2011. This accomplishment left Brady with an idea: Live music during breakfast would fit in perfectly here. So, in comes guitarist/banjoist John Blankenship to round up a sextet that year at Brady’s request. This request formed a serenading string band made up of Gary Redmon on guitar and fiddle, Billy Yearwood on mandolin, Sarah Frizzell on percussion and fiddle, Ken Frizzell on harp and Avent Lane as “bass player deluxe” (as well as the album’s recording engineer). John Blankenship handles lead guitar and banjo, while every single one of the six Balladeers holds their own, vocally, throughout. You get the sense that each member could be a one-man/one-woman band, yet collectively, they comprise a pleasant force to be reckoned with over a plate of fresh hotcakes.

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Order your copy now!

  • CD's are $10 each and available at the Little Shop Of Records on the square in Murfreesboro. You can also submit this form and Johnny B will give you a call to arrange for payment.

Testimonials and Other Reviews

I just finished listening to the CD. It’s great! I really enjoyed it.
What’s even more amazing is that it was unrehearsed, spontaneous, etc. I enjoyed the songs you wrote and the mix of traditional and new. Your voice really is terrific. Listening made me smile.
Stephen Gilbert
Morristown, NJ


I wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed the CD! I had a particularly nasty commute home last night which was made much more tolerable because of it. You are quite the songwriter, sir! It will be obvious to anyone who ever strapped on an axe in front of an audience that you all had a great time putting that together. I hope that you and I will have the chance to bang around a few chords someday soon! Thanks, John. Best. Hal
Hal Gray
Atlanta, GA


My husband and I work together in our own law practice. He came in the other night just beat from being in trial. I put on your CD and soon he was smiling and not long after we were dancing! Love it.
Judith Ittig
Washington, DC


Love the newly released CD Music at the Mill Vol. 1 by Johnny B & the Balladeers. Having been to the very relaxing Saturday breakfast/brunch/music event at Readyville Mill, the CD takes me back to that great “relaxation mode” whenever I listen to it. You will recognize many, if not all of the traditional songs, as well as the wonderful newer songs written by Johnny B himself. He (Johnny B) seems to love to write and sing songs that tell a story, so be sure to put your imagination to work as you listen to his own songs. His songs range from funny to sad/melancholy, all “certified difer’ent” from our current popular music which no longer seems to be written to tell any sort of story. Good job Johnny B & the Balladeers for such great performances.
Pat Cooper
Goodlettsville, TN


My favorite song is “She Gives Dumb Blonde a Whole New Meaning”. I think the rest of the songs are also very good and I hope you can keep going and making more CDs.
Peyton Q (age 9)
White Bluff, TN


I absolutely love the she gives dumb blonde a new meaning….
Thanks a million for sharing.
Hope to see you soon
Gina Arwood
Murfreesboro, TN


Wanna have some fun? Dance a Texas Two-Step around your kitchen floor? Hungry for some old time country? Order the CD “Music at the Mill –Volume One” by Johnny B & the Balladeers. Recorded at the historic Readyville Mill (pronounced Reedyville), John Blankenship’s lead vocals cover his newly penned songs, including “She Gives Dumb Blondes a Whole New Meaning,” “I Wish I Could Be What I Pretend to Be,” “You’ve Still Got a Heart to Break,” and “It’s as Right as Wrong Could Be.” Then Johnny and the band give us new takes on some old favorites: “Hard Times Come Again No More,” “Red River Valley,” “Wildwood Flower,” and “When You and I Were Young, Maggie.” With 19 tracks, this album is a real value at $10. The Balladeers’ accompaniments include some extraordinary picking by Billy Yearwood on mandolin, Gary Redmond on guitar and fiddle, and Avent Lane on bass. Sarah Frizzell’s percussion is noteworthy. This is not a studio album, so the acoustics are just like you are sitting in a small room with the performers.
If you’re like me, you can’t eat just one potato chip. After wearing out Volume One, you’ll be hungry for Volume Two.
Ken Jackson
Nashville, TN

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