When/Where: Saturday, June 7th, Chevy Riverfront Stage
Who: An amazingly gifted guitarist who could challenge Keith Urban and Vince Gill for "country's best shredder"
Why You Can't Miss Him: After his first two singles, "Tell Me You Get Lonely" and "A Buncha Girls," stalled, Ballard came back strong with a new album and his first Number One, "Helluva Life," creating a buzz and even inspiring lyric tattoos on fans. Country radio placed "Helluva Life" on repeat and fast-tracked this multi-talented singer/songwriter/player to "one to watch" status. Ballard's idol may be fellow Michigan native Bob Seger (with whom he has toured), but the first thing he bought to celebrate his chart-topper was all country: a custom-made Manuel suit. It's doubtful he'll wear it in the Nashville heat, but kudos to Ballard for bringing rhinestones back to modern country.