Monday, April 28, 2008

Marcia Ball – Peace, Love and BBQ (Alligator, 2008)

Wherever pianist and singer Marcia Ball goes, a party follows, and this is no exception. While the shadow of Katrina hangs over a few of the songs, even that wrathful disaster can only slow the party briefly. Ball's rolling keys and very tight and soulful band make her rhythm and blues irresistible. “Where Do You Go?” and “Ride It Out” both reference hurricanes Katrina and Camile, which were generation altering disasters for the soutern United States that she calls home. As touching and well written as they are, also impressive are the acoustic gospel rave-up “Miracle in Knoxville” and the party-hearty stompers like “Watermelon Time” and the raucous title track. Another highlight is the diet between fellow lifers Ball and Dr. John, "I'll Never Be Free." Referencing soul, blues, R&B and zydeco, this group plays them all with deep respect and talent. Marcia Ball has been one of the most consistently talented musicians of the past thirty years and this is another feather in her considerable cap.

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