Texas based songwriter, Max Stalling, had no expectation of ever being in the music business. “I didn’t even pick up a guitar until graduate school,” notes Stalling. After attending high school in South Texas, Stalling studied at Texas A&M – College Station, where he earned a masters degree in Food Science. He followed the corporate road from there and eventually landed in Dallas working in product development for Frito-Lay.
During this time, Stalling discovered the Three Teardrops Tavern and Dallas community radio station KNON. These outlets exposed a musical heritage to which Stalling had been nearly oblivious. Inspired by artists like Townes Van Zandt, Robert Earl Keen, Guy Clark, Lyle Lovett, and Jerry Jeff Walker, Stalling started writing songs, recording albums, and eventually touring with a full band to back him. Fifty thousand CDs later, Stalling joined musical greats Kris Kristofferson, Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, Selena, Guy Clark and many others when he received a star on the South Texas Music Walk of Fame in Corpus Christi. Stalling plays about 150 shows a year and is in the third year of a Budweiser sponsorship. He is a former member of the Board of Governors for the Texas Chapter of NARAS and has been lucky enough to share the stage with most of the artists that inspired him to start writing in the first place.
Stalling’s style is modern with a vintage feel. With Jeff Howe on drums and percussion, Bryce Clarke on nylon-string guitar, electric guitar and mandolin, and Jason Steinsultz swapping between stand-up and electric bass, Stalling creates a dynamic live show that’s smart, charming and as listenable as it is danceable. Stalling and troupe are equally at home on a huge concert stage in front of thousands or playing an acoustic set for a hundred. Attendance numbers at shows have continued to rise. “I chalk it up to the strength of the songs and the strength of my band”, comments Max.
Despite playing the same circuit as many household names in Texas country, grouping Stalling with them would be premature. His unique voice and amusingly clever song lyrics pull him in a different direction – a direction most obviously evident in his newest record Home to You.
Stalling put together an elite team for his newest project, including recording heavyweight and Grammy winner Lloyd Maines. Maines has been instrumental in developing the sounds of some of the best artists in music and has worked with industry giants including the Dixie Chicks, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Bruce Robison. Band members Steinsultz, Howe and Clark are featured prominently on the recordings as well as Stalling’s wife Heather. “I’m very proud of the life that everyone has given these songs,” says Max. “They poured their hearts and souls into this project and I think people will be wowed by what they can do.”
Home to You may be the best and most well rounded collection of songs that Stalling has released to date. It has earned Stalling both a Best Album and a Best Male Vocal nomination for the 2011 LonestarMusic Awards. It has been on the top seller list at lonestarmusic.com since its release and the first single “I Aint Drinking Alone” was #14 on the Radio Free Texas 100 Most Requested Songs of 2010 list. The opening track is an unexpected tune borrowed from Austin music fixture Bob Schneider. Stalling makes the tune his own by staying true to his rootsy, Americana vibe which is evident throughout the entire album. Next, we hear fan favorite “I Aint Drinking Alone” and a surprising revisited version of a previous Stalling track. With songs about love, love lost, and the road, the album is a perfect candidate for the repeat button on any music player. The collection wraps up with, “The Fantasy Dinner,” which is a light-hearted, story song that captures Stalling’s creative mind in a way that will keep the listener intrigued and singing along by the second chorus. Matched with master musicianship and production, this album will keep your foot tapping, heart pounding, and dancing shoes worn.
Home to You was released August 17, 2010, following four previous studio projects (Topaz City, 2008; Comfort In the Curves, 1997; Wide Afternoon, 2000; One of the Ways, 2002) and two live releases (Sell-Out, 2006; Live From The Granada CD/DVD 2009). Home to You was self-released on the Blind Nello Records label.