By Madison Vain
Updated March 19, 2015 at 02:37 PM EDT
Courtesy of Warner Music Nashville

Frankie Ballard, the country rocker with a backwoods-bluesy growl, released his second album, Sunshine and Whiskey, last fall, and it just keeps on going—its first two singles, “Helluva Life,” and the album’s title track, were back-to-back Hot Country Songs chart toppers, and its third single, “Young & Crazy” (official music video below) just dropped, charting immediately. He’s currently touring, both on his own as well as on Florida Georgia Line’s “Anything Goes” arena tour, with festival appearances at Tortuga Music Festival and Stagecoach weaved throughout. Afterward, he’ll hole up to record Sunshine and Whiskey‘s follow-up.

Rob Zombie – “Dragula”

“Very much like Kid Rock and Buckcherry, it’s just all energy. Listening to these songs for me was like going to the movies. It was so much hype, it felt good. And the production on ‘Dragula’ was so good—the guitars are so sinister and it sounds just scary and tough.”

Pearl Jam – “Wishlist”

“It’s my favorite Pearl Jam song—I don’t know what it is. It hits me as a songwriter, I wish I would have written it. ‘I wish I was that little break that you depended on, I wish I was the full moon shining off your Camaro’s hood.’ I can’t get enough of that tune.”

Dwight Yoakam – “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere”

“What an epic tune; I love Dwight. It’s just lonesome, and I love a good lonesome country song. It’s probably my favorite of his songs.”

Brooks and Dunn – “Neon Moon”

“To me, this is one of the best country recordings of all time—the tones, how much reverb, Ronny Dunn’s voice, and just the sadness of the lyric. It makes you want to love country music.”