One Soul Wins Mesquite Battle of The Bands

One Soul band members Johnathan Ballew (bass and vocals), Juan Cano (drums), and Reece Clark (guitar)

In December, I profiled One Soul, an alternative Christian rock band that includes Franklin Middle School student Reece Clark on guitar. Back then, they were getting ready for their first Winter Tour. Now, they are the winners of the Battle of the Bands at the Real Texas Festival in Mesquite. For more information on the guys, go to the jump.

Alternative Band One Soul Covers the Metroplex on a Rock-and-Roll Weekend

DALLAS–(April 30, 2012) –Even in this age of technology, there are often no substitutes for good, old-fashioned hard work. This idea certainly applies to bands. The most successful ones build their fan base in a true grassroots style — hitting the road, playing live shows, and connecting with people up close and personal, as well as through social media. Dallas-based musical act One Soul certainly understands. “We love to get out and meet our fans,” said bassist/vocalist Johnathan Ballew. “The energy exchanged between the band and the audience, that’s what it’s all about,” said guitarist and songwriter Reece Clark.

Friday, April 27: Paradise, Texas

“That show was intense!” said drummer Juan Cano, just moments after leaving the stage at the Kick’It Youth Group event in Paradise. The trio played a raucous set for more than 200 fans, most with their cell phones up, recording the lights, artificial smoke, and thumping sounds. “We had a blast!” said Clark. “This crowd was amazing!” After One Soul rocked the house amid screams, chants, and waving arms, the guys made it out to their merchandise table. Most of the fans stayed for nearly an hour after the show, getting autographs and all but emptying the band of t-shirts, their Truth CDs, and custom necklaces with the band logo. Then came loading their gear and making the trek back to Dallas. It was after midnight before anyone got to sleep.

Saturday, April 28: Mesquite, Texas

The guys showed up at their next show, on the other end of the Metroplex, bright and early the following morning — 8:45 to be exact. On the main stage at the Real Texas Festival, One Soul played three energetic sets. By noon, the young trio was crowned as Battle of the Bands champions. “That trophy is ginormous!” said vocalist Ballew. The only thing that was bigger was the 6’ wide check for $500, which the guys were presented on-stage by Mesquite Mayor John Monaco. Moments later, One Soul was back at it, instruments in-hand, for another rocking 45-minute set.

“That was so much fun!” said Clark. “But also exhausting,” said Ballew, finishing his band mates statement. Indeed. Life on the road for a rock band is not easy. But connecting with their fans in-person makes it all worthwhile. “We wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Cano.

Check out One Soul’s music @

Everything Starts With An Idea

The three members of One Soul, Ballew from the Lake Highlands area of Dallas, Clark, from the Preston Hollow area of Dallas, and Juan Cano from Ferris, met and became friends while students at The School of Rock in Dallas. They played together on a few song during the curriculum of live performances covering music from well-known rock bands. But, each musician longed to be part of a band that wrote and performed its own material.

The first steps toward One Soul happened in December, 2010. “I started by writing guitar hooks. Riffs that sounded good to me and were fun to play,” said Clark. At the same time, he deepened his study into the language of music, understanding the patterns and framework that made it all fit together.

Different Bands, Becoming One Soul

Each of the three musicians was playing in different bands. By the Spring of 2011, Clark had left his previous band to concentrate on songwriting. By April, with his Dad on arrangement and lyrics, they completed 12 rough demos on a Mac laptop. At the same time, Clark recruited rock-solid drummer Cano along with rising vocalist and multi-instrumental talent Ballew from the School of Rock. The families met to discuss goals, and One Soul was official born in May, 2011. That’s when the whirlwind really started.

Rehearsal, Recording, Official Release

As soon as the three young musicians finished the school year, they leapt into rehearsals. Mimicking recorded music by covering songs from other bands was one thing, but creating new and original music was a very different challenge. With their talent level, however, it proved to be a manageable task. From the first weekend of June through the last weekend of July, One Soul went from nothing to playing their first live show in Plano. They followed with two performances at the historic Deep Ellum club, The Door. September was dedicated to recording their 6-song, debut EP. Truth was officially released on October 28, 2011, and is now available on iTunes and Amazon MP3, among others.

One Soul will return to The Door for their official CD Release Party on Saturday, December 17. The show starts at 7 PM. This special event is sandwiched in the middle of the band’s first ever concert tour. The Winter Chill Tour begins on December 2nd in Saginaw, Texas. Shows go throughout the month, headlined by Arkansas’ rocking all-female quartet, Ilia, and Plano’s thriving alternative act, Don’t Wake Aislin.

Check the One Soul concert calendar on-line for details (

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *