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He recently visited her for more than a week, also meeting other blood relatives who were still living in the Boston area. It was a cathartic experience for all involved, but Balis admits that his friends back in Texas had their own ideas about the mother/child reunion.
"I think people were expecting some sort of Oprah story," Balis says with a laugh. "It wasn't like that at all. It was a big hug and absolutely no tears."
Of course, upon returning, Balis was peppered with questions, both on and off the air. And now with the release of Too Much Living, he's expecting more of the same. Surely, being a part of one of the most listened to radio programs in the area must be a promotional boost for Balis and his music, but Balis says he feels it unfair to other local musicians that he gets promotion via the Ticket, and he's come to realize that such promotion comes with its share of backlash.
"A lot of the exposure I get for my music is because of where I work," Balis says. "But I still get e-mails from listeners saying, 'We don't give a fuck about you or your music.'"
At the upcoming CD release show at the Granada on Friday night, where he'll open up for Slobberbone at the theater's five-year anniversary party, Balis expects a few loyal Ticket listeners to shout various phrases that have become a part of his on-air persona.
Shouts of Balis' go-to on-air radio lines like "I like steak" are sure to ring out, he admits. This time, though, they'll hopefully come after the applause.