Ball's swamp blues a classic romp
From the double-entendre laden blues of the title track to the country-tinged "Can't Trust My Heart" to the classic R&B duet (with Doyle Bramhall) of "How Big a Fool," Louisiana pianist Marcia Ball shows a lot of range on her new album.
Not that this should be a surprise to fans of Ball; her appearance with Austin singers Angela Strehli and Lou Ann Barton on the 1990 "Dreams Come True" showed Ball has a real feel for soul.
But her solo albums have tended more toward a swamp boogie groove than Memphis; even her publishing house is titled "Gatorhythms." But not only is she singing and playing some wonderful soul on her latest effort, she's writing it, too: "The Story of My Life" sounds as if it came out of one of the classic soul houses like Stax/Volt or Hi. Twenty-five years ago, that song's all over the radio.
Still, this is a brave new world, and unless you have pierced body parts and/or a permanent pout you can kiss the Top 40 goodbye. Pity, that, for Ball is not only a front-line singer, but she's one of the best at pounding the keyboards. She's up there with Professor Longhair and Tuts Washington in the New Orleans tradition too bad most folks will never even hear of her, much less hear her.
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