Marcia Ball

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Marcia Ball
Photo by Mary Keating Bruton
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Bayou Queen of the Piano

Marcia Ball is a woman with a reputation. The Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist/vocalist/songwriter is famed worldwide for igniting a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she strolls on stage. Ball's groove-laden New Orleans boogie and rollicking Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music fans all over the world. But she's also a master at transfixing her audience with an emotionally rich, passionately sung ballad. The Boston Herald says, "Ball plays masterful, red hot tracks from the Texas-Louisiana border. Her voice can break your heart with a ballad or break your back with a rocker." On her new CD, Roadside Attractions (her 15th solo recording), Ball's songwriting is at the forefront, ranging from tales of wild parties to stories of twisted motel affairs to declarations of the enduring power of love and family. It is inspired by her years on the road and from insights gained from everyday life, making it her most autobiographical album. Roadside Attractions is certainly more than capable of starting a no-holds-barred bash. But more than that, it's a tour-de-force of Marcia's seemingly endless talent, and among the most emotionally moving recordings she has ever made.  

Produced by famed songwriter, musician and producer Gary Nicholson (Delbert McClinton, Wynonna Judd, T. Graham Brown), Roadside Attractions finds Marcia Ball at a creative peak. Ball wrote or co-wrote every song-something she had never done over the course of her forty-year career. Throughout the proceedings, her stellar musicians add power and nuance to the music, perfectly complementing Ball's expert piano playing, slice-of-life lyrics and melodic, storytelling vocals.  

According to Ball the new CD is the one she was born to make. "Roadside Attractions is my most personal album yet. It's full of short stories and tall tales. Not every word is true, but close enough. The songs reflect forty years of travel and a lifetime of experiences. Writing with Gary Nicholson, Dan Penn and Tom Hambridge was a thrill I've waited a long time for. So off we go, touring the cosmos, weaving and lurching, distracted by every concrete dinosaur and giant strawberry along the way. It's a great life set to music."