Ed Hale‘s latest solo album, the acoustic leaning ‘whisper pop’ CD entitled Ballad On Third Avenue was voted “One of Best Albums of 2009” by New Times Magazine. The end of year edition came out of the tri-county wide South Florida area where Hale first got his start in the seminal underground band Broken Spectacles along with Americana Music pioneer Matthew Sabatella when the two were in college.
Music critic Lee Zimmerman wrote,
“Bundled in sumptuous arrangements and a prog-rock posture, Ed Hale’s regular gig with Transcendence sometimes seemed to overshadow his true worth as a songwriter. Happily, Hale’s solo debut remedies that by emphasizing the songs’ emotional content rather than their window dressing. The support cast is still terrific – among the members are several Transcendence bandmates – but what truly shines are some brooding, introspective tunes informed by a sense of quiet contemplation.”
“Fact is, Hale’s always been quite the entrepreneur. His Dying Van Gogh label has fostered some of South Florida’s most talented artists, among them Dreaming in Stereo’s Fernando Perdomo and Ex Norwegian’s Roger Houdaille. It still provides him a local connection, even though he’s relocated to New York, where he now finds the muse best suited to his ambitions. Even so, Ballad on Third Avenue isn’t restricted to any particular setting — “Scene in San Francisco,” “New Orleans Dreams,” and “Thoughts of California” reference various locales while maintaining a solitary sense of longing and desire. Consequently, only “I Walk Alone” emulates the sweep and spectacle of Transcendence. However, like the songs that surround it, it maintains a lowered gaze, making this Hale’s most intimate and alluring set yet.”
– Lee Zimmerman