Tonight At The Aztec: Marcia Ball's Thrilling Zydeco Blues
By Matt Stieb
on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 10:28 AM
Piano player Marcia Ball repping her faux-tat sleeves
Marcia Ball is a native of East Texas, Orange to be precise. But tune into her loquacious piano rhythms and it's clear that she got over the border to Louisiana as fast as she could (sort of the inverse of that foolish bumper sticker).
Pianist is too formal a title to describe the work of the enthralling New Orleans acolyte. In the NOLA style, they're piano players, the storytellers at the back of the bar who've seen their share of drunk sunrises. It's a flashy style by necessity, for New Orleans piano players need to contend and be heard over all the other options of entertainment in a city that don't sleep.
Ball made her debut in 1978 as the wide-eyed Circuit Queen. 30-something years later, she's garnered a Grammy nod, appearances at the New Orleans and Monterey Jazz Festivals, 15 more records and an induction into the Austin Music Hall of Fame.
Tonight at the Aztec, she's pushing the material from her new record Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man, an effort of showered, cleaned-up swamp rock that's lost known of its bluesy merit.