may be available for your next special event!
Marcia Ball knows how to raise roofs and tear down walls with her
infectious, intelligent and deeply emotional brand of southern boogie,
rollicking, roadhouse blues and heartfelt ballads. Over the course of
her three-decade career, Ball has earned a huge and intensely loyal
following all over the world.
exquisite piano playing and passionate, playful vocals fuse New Orleans
and Gulf Coast R&B with Austin's deep songwriting tradition into a
sound No Depression described as "a little rock, a lot of roll, a
pinch of rhythm and a handful of blues." According to the
Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Ball is the bayou queen of the piano,
steeped in blues and honky-tonk. When revved...she's a rollicking dynamo
spewing heat-seeking triplets from the ivories while her horn-driven
band wails. She's also a subtle songwriter and a formidable singer with
a wisp of huskiness edging her Cajun-Texan twang."
Marcia Ball's Alligator Records debut (the
ninth album of her career), "Presumed
Innocent," is a tour-de-force of potent, imaginative songs
fueled by leg-swinging boogie, deeply original, rocking blues and
Born in Orange, Texas, in 1949 to a family whose
female members all played piano, Ball grew up in the small town of
Vinton, Louisiana, right across the Texas border. She began taking piano
lessons at age five, listening to and playing old Tin Pan Alley tunes
from her grandmother's collection. From her aunt, Marcia heard more
modern and popular music.
But it wasn't until she was 13 that Marcia Ball
discovered the blues, as she sat amazed as Irma Thomas delivered the
most soulful and spirited performance the young teenager had ever seen.
According to Ball, "she just blew me away, she caught me totally
unaware. Once I started my own band, the first stuff I was doing was
Irma's." In 1966, she attended Louisiana State University, where
she played some of her very first gigs with a blues-based rock band
called Gum, whose repertoire included more than one Irma Thomas song.
After graduating in 1970, Ball set out for San
Francisco. Her car broke down in Austin, Texas, and while waiting for
repairs, she fell in love with the city and decided to stay. It wasn't
long before Ball was performing in the city's clubs with a
blues-influenced progressive country band called Freda and the
Firedogs while beginning to hone her songwriting skills. It was
around this time that Ball delved deeply into the music of the great New
Orleans piano players, especially Professor Longhair. "Once I found
out about Professor Longhair," recalls Ball, "I knew I had
found my direction."
When the band broke up in 1974, Marcia Ball
launched her solo career, signing to Capitol Records and debuting with
the bluesy, country-soul album "Circuit Queen" in 1978. She
released a number of critically acclaimed Rounder albums during the
1980s and 1990s, including "Soulful
Tamale Baby," "Gatorhythms,"
House" and "Let
Me Play With Your Poodle."
In 1990, Marcia Ball collaborating with Angela Strehli
and Lou Ann Barton recorded the hugely successful "Dreams Come
True" on the Antone's label. At the end of 1997, Marcia finished
work on a similar "three divas of the blues" project for
Rounder, this time in the distinguished company of Tracy Nelson and
Ball's longtime inspiration, Irma Thomas. The album, "Sing
It!," was released in January 1998 and was nominated for both a
GRAMMY and a W.C. Handy Blues Award as Best Contemporary Blues Album.
Richard De La Font
with Marcia Ball
While her studio albums have won her fans around the
globe, Marcia Ball's dynamic live performances keep them coming
back for more. Playing more than 100 shows a year, she has appeared at
virtually every major festival in the United States, received glowing
reviews in all major music publications, and has been featured on
leading radio and television programs, including Austin City Limits and
National Public Radio's Fresh Air and Piano Jazz. She received the 1998
W.C. Handy Blues Award for Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year and
was nominated again in 2000 and in 2001 for Best Blues
Instrumentalist-Keyboards. In 1999, Marcia and her band appeared in the
nationally televised Public Television special In Performance At The
White House along with B.B. King and Della Reese.
Ball's move to Alligator Records is a major milestone
in her career and a very exciting time for her personally. "I'm
thrilled to be on Alligator," says Ball. "I have high hopes
and I feel like I really will be a priority. Alligator is a solid blues
label and that will definitely work to my advantage." Alligator
president Bruce Iglauer agrees. "I've been a fan of Marcia's for
years, and I've watched her grow from being a terrific interpreter of
New Orleans and Texas blues and R&B into an excellent songwriter who
can deliver a ballad that really touches your heart. Marcia Ball
has one of
the biggest, most devoted cult followings of any roots music artist, and
she earns it by delivering some of the best party music and the most
soulful, deepest blues and ballads night after night."
If Marcia Ball's transgression is stirring
souls with her ballads and tearing down roofs with her rollicking
boogies and blues, she's very much guilty as charged. Full-tilt or
subtle as the moment demands, this unabashed powerhouse is at home
playing roadhouse rock, jump-blues, second line syncopation (a la
Professor Longhair), R&B, deep soul, and ballads. What's more, her
great singing and songwriting are matched by superb piano playing that is eclectic and effective.
Notable songs include -- .
- Sing It
- Louisiana 1927
- Red Hot
- Never Like This Before
- That's Enough of That Stuff
- Find Another Fool
- If I Know You
- Red Beans
- Big Shot
- I Still Love You
Marcia Ball may be available for your next special event!
.Swamp Blues. / SwampBlues
.Louisiana Blues. / LouisianaBlues
.Piano Blues. / PianoBlues
.Modern Electric Blues. / ModernElectricBlues
.Electric Texas Blues. / ElectricTexasBlues
.Texas Blues. / TexasBlues
.Contemporary Blues. / ContemporaryBlues
.Pianist. / xPianist
x70s, x80s, x90s, x00s, x10s
Born: ..in Texas / born nTexas
Born: ..in Orange / born OrangeTX
Born: Mar 29, 1949
Raised: ..in Louisiana / nLouisiana
Raised: ..in Vinton /
Based: ..in US
Based: ..in Texas / based nTexas
Based: ..in Austin / based