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The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2009: Danny Balis' "Tethered" Swings In at No. 24

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[Editor's Note: Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be presenting my favorite local songs of the year, counting down from No. 25 to No. 1, one track a day. Today, we take an in-depth look at song No. 24 on the list--and click after the jump for a free download of the track. Lastly, keep checking back to see how the list pans out, and, also after the jump, check out songs No. 40-26 in the Top 40 list that will update as it grows...]

No. 24: Danny Balis -- "Tethered"

On September 1, former Sorta member and current King Bucks player Danny Balis released Too Much Living, his solo debut--and to a pretty substantial amount of fanfare.

But the attention garnered this time around was somewhat different than the attention Balis had previously earned with his other bands, or even as an on-air personality at KTCK-1310 AM The Ticket. This time, Balis was putting himself out there, all alone. This time, he was baring his soul--and he was doing so in the form of a record inspired by his best friend's premature death just two years prior. Amd nowhere else is Balis' heartache more tangible or as poignant as it is on Too Much Living's lead single, "Tethered."

Bonus mp3:

Danny Balis -- "Tethered"


The first thing that catches you is the sound, a nod to the country songs of the '70s as opposed to the Nashville sound of today. The second that catches you is Balis' poetic lyricism here, as it subtly references memories of sorely missed life moments. Make no mistake: This is a nostalgic song, as close an insight as outsiders will ever have to Balis' thoughts on his friend and fomer bandmate Carter Albrecht's death. But it's a fine one because of its touching presentation.

A deliberately paced, classically structured country take, "Tethered," stands perhaps as Balis' own finest musical accomplishment.

The Top 40 Local Songs of 2009 (Links to music videos and free song downloads available where applicable; links to streams where neither a download nor video exists.)
40. The Wax Museums -- "Safety in Numbers"
39. Macon Greyson -- "Pushing Strings"
38. The Burning Hotels -- "Austin's Birthday" (video)
37. The Riverboat Gamblers -- "DissDissDissKissKissKiss" (video)
36. Salim Nourallah -- "Endless Dream Days"
35. The Phuss -- "Preacher, Preacher"
34. The Southern Sea -- "These Things Always End Badly"
33. Fungi Girls -- "Pacifica Nostalgia"
32. Giggle Party -- "Jason Bought a Hatchet" (video)
31. Carter Albrecht -- "Country Living" (stream)
30. This Old House -- "At Risk"
29. Occult Detective Club -- "You'll Follow Me" 
28. Bad Sports -- "Nothing But Agitation"
27. Darktown Strutters -- "Quakertown"
26. The Crash That Took Me -- "Patricia Lynn" (stream)
25. Red Monroe -- "Pat Mayse Lake"
24. Danny Balis -- "Tethered"
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...and be sure to keep checking back, as this list will update daily.

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