by MediaBrain producer and recording artist Matt Ballenger
It is difficult to describe the Steve Sizemore Group (SSG) with appearing to shill for my own band. I know. It’s tacky. However SSG has been a MediaBrain artist since the very beginning, so it is impossible to omit SSG from MediaBrain’s artist spotlight series. So instead, I’ll keep the band bio short and sweet. If you want to learn more, I’ll refer you to the band’s website:
Instead I’ll simply describe my/MediaBrain’s involvement as it relates to SSG. Visit that website for the details.
I first became involved with SSG as MediaBrain was just starting out. It was 2008, and Steve Sizemore had contracted me to record a low-budget, retro-rock album which was to become Beautiful Dust. I was a bedroom producer at the time with a short list of impressive credits well beyond my experience level. Still I was very green, and my equipment was atrocious. Despite this, Steve saw something in me that made him take a chance. His confidence meant a lot to me as Steve has worked with some pretty big names during the course of his career. So we recorded Beautiful Dust, released it in 2009, and I’m still amazed that it sounds as good as it does considering what we had to work with. That album was a lesson in the greater importance of skill versus tools, and I continue to make the most of that philosophy to this day.
During the recording process, a vacancy had opened up in SSG. Guitarist Rodney Isaacs had left to pursue a project with another central KY great, Brad Alford. Steve was aware of my proficiency as a guitarist, so he offered the gig. My role has since expanded into a core member due in large part to my working relationship with Steve in the studio.
We’ve completed several other projects since including several singles, various artist compilation albums, and a live Beatles tribute album called A Night in the Life. It’s been a wild ride, and the band continues to grow professionally. The experience has taught me a lot about band management, how to seek profitability as an independent artist, and the inner workings of the music industry. We’ve also made several mistakes and learned what to avoid. But most importantly SSG has taught me what is possible as an independent artist.
SSG remains a MediaBrain artist, and the band continues to push itself to new heights. Currently we’re working on a new album. You can view samples of past work below.
Enough shilling! Now go check out the other artist’s on the spotlight series. MediaBrain will add new artists frequently, so keep coming back.
From Beautiful Dust (also featured on International Pop Overthrow Vol. 12)
From A Night in the Life
From She’s So Contagious Live Single
From Songs of Squeeze Revisited