One of America's most famous and popular roots artists releases a groundbreaking album, produced by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, The Blasters).
Marcia Ball burns on Shine Bright with an exuberant selection of piano-filled Roadhouse Romps, spiced with her incomparably soulful voice.
The songs include nine new Marcia originals and brilliant interpretations by Ray Charles, Ernie K-Doe and Jesse Winchester. Producer and saxophonist Steve Berlin is a guest musician on five tracks. Fantastic!
Marcia Ball (born March 20, 1949 in Orange, Texas) is an American blues singer and pianist, raised in Vinton, Louisiana.
When Texas Stomp Rock meets Louisiana Swamp Blues!
Ball was born into a musical family. Her grandmother and aunt both played piano music of their time, and Ball began piano lessons when she started school, and showed an early interest in New Orleans style piano playing, such as Fats Domino, Professor Longhair and James Booker. She has named Irma Thomas, the singer from New Orleans, as her main source of inspiration. Ball studied English at Louisiana State University in the 1960s while playing in a band called Gum. In 1970, at the age of 21, she founded a progressive country band called Freda and the Firedogs in Austin, Texas, and began her solo career in 1974.
Louisiana - Melting Pot of Music Styles
Ball's piano style includes elements of Zydeco, Louisiana Swamp Blues, a little New Orleans soul and boogie woogie. She began her career as a solo artist at Rounder Records in the 1980s and early 1990s. In 2001 she moved to Alligator Records in Chicago. Her rounder album Sing It! with singers Irma Thomas and Tracy Nelson, released in January 1998, was nominated for a Grammy Award and a Blues Music Award as "Best Contemporary Blues Album".
Awards and honors
Ball received the 1998 Blues Music Award for "Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year" and "Best Blues Instrumentalist-Keyboards" for her albums Presumed Innocent (2002) and So Many Rivers (2004). In the same year she also won "Contemporary Blues Artist of the Year-Female". In 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 she again won the "Best Blues Instrumentalist Keyboards". The BMA for Keyboards has since been renamed Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award and Marcia won it in 2012 and 2015. Their 2003 Alligator release So Many Rivers was nominated for a Grammy, as was Live! Down The Road (2005) and Peace, Love & BBQ (2008). She was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 1990. Ball continued to work with Irma Thomas. In 2006 they wore a duet ("Look Up") on the New Orleans Social Club release, Sing Me Back Home (Burgundy Records/Honey Darling Records). In 2007 they contributed another duet ("I Can't Get New Orleans Off My Mind") to Goin' Home - A Tribute To Fats Domino (Vanguard Records). She continues to play in nightclubs, especially in Austin and New Orleans, and performs at music festivals in North America and overseas. In May 2015, Ball won the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award at the Blues Music Awards. On October 25, 2018, Ms. Ball was inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, where she first performed in 1976.