"Roadside Attractions"

The singer/pianist has been blending Texas blues, Louisiana swamp ballads and New Orleans second-line rhythms into her distinctive roadhouse roots-rock for 30 years. She wrote or co-wrote all 12 tunes here, including the powerful This Used to Be Paradise, which addresses how greed has destroyed traditions.

Edna Gundersen
USA TODAY

Marcia Ball’s barrelhouse style of play, her relentlessly feel-good party tunes, her soulful roadhouse band, the patch of white hair on the front of her dark mane and her impossibly long legs crossed daintily at the knee as she pounds away – are iconic in the Gulf Coast music universe. Rollicking R&B rave-ups.

USA Today

Gritty yet elegant piano pounder with a bluesy voice and witty songwriting. Her albums mine the New Orleans R&B and soul traditions, and Ball carries that torch with a sure sense of swing.

Time Out Chicago

The Queen of Gulf Coast party music…good-time boogie and blues. …oozes southern atmosphere that carries your straight to the bayou. …infectious rhythmic patterns of the Crescent City run through her music like a rich vein of gold. A triumph.

Blues In Britain

Magnificently plays and sings here way though the blues with incredible amounts of heart and soul. Ball is the real deal: equal parts New Orleans, boogie woogie, swamp music, and Texas soul all wrapped up into one package. She’s also an incredible songwriter. She is a first-rate observer of live. Party songs mixes with ones that make you think, danceable beats and reflective rhythms. …a mighty musical force. Her piano playing always keeps things moving and her voice ever-infectiously appealing. She knows how to tell a story with music. Top-notch blues.

Popmatters.com

Ball demonstrates her unfailing sense of what’s right in new material that crackles with life. She’s at her rollicking best…an ever-wonderful brand of bayou boogie and nonstop keyboard pounding that never grows old.

Austin Chronicle

Marcia Ball is tantalizing on a Texas-sized scale, but sings and plays with down-home friendly Louisiana style. There’s plenty of Ball’s saucy singing poured over her rollicking swamp syncopation on the piano. Songs everyone can enjoy.

Hittin’ The Note

Marcia Ball has a great voice and a rollicking piano style guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Chicago Sun-Times

Finely-tuned storytelling and raucous piano pounding on a mix of material that delivers the high-octane electricity of the Texas blues with all the soul of New Orleans R&B.

About.com Blues

Ball continues to get better as a singer, songwriter, and piano player. Thoroughly enjoyable.

About.com Blues

Swinging uptempo grooves, boogie dance numbers, and a fantastic variety of piano playing form Chicago-style blues, driving barrelhouse turns, to Professor Longhair-esque keyboard runs. Ball pull off the piano playing with such ease and nonchalance that it is easy to forget how great a player she is.

OffBeat

Marcia Ball invent5ively merges the resplendently effervescent second-lilne rhythm of the CVrescent5 City with the playfully swinging blues of Texas the languid swamp-pop ballad sound of South Louisiana with strains of gospel and zydeco around the edges. The lanky pianist/singer and accomplished songwriter has created a rezadily identifiable, roadhouse –rowdy sound that has been marinating acrosst eh country at roots and blues venues of all sorts for nearly forty years. Sparkling piano solos are scattered throughout. Put your dancing shoes on!

Sing Out

NOLA vibes flow from Ball’s dancing keys …textured blues…potent and fearless… sweet , funky and infectious, humorous and fun.

Blues Revue

Ball’s piquant gumbo of Louisiana bayou boogie and smoky, stomping Texas blues is as spicy as ever. Keen songwriting, hard-won wisdom ….good-time anthems, 12-bar blues, New Orleans stride....Ball’s soft-grained drawl is expressive and clear.

Living Blues

Take a buttery voice laid over two-fisted barrelhouse piano playing and apply it to boogie, blues, rock and soul and it’s a killer combination that leaves your toes tapping.

Associated Press

Sophisticated and earthy, Ball pounds the ivories like a classier Jerry Lee Lewis….Her originals sound like timeless classics and southern soul masterpieces that no one else can imitate.

Living Blues

"Piano pounding Marcia 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."

The Boston Sunday Herald,

"a class act whose soulful, horn-laden swamp pop and murderous honky-tonk make her a stellar example of musical artistry."

The Austin Chronicle

Swamp pop, blues, zydeco, Cajun, boogie-woogie, funk all delivered with exceptional verve. …Angelic harmonies…bright, smoke-tinged voice…made-for-dancing…funky, horn-fueled, rollicking swamp-pop….melds swing and jump blues with New Orleans boogaloo. Ball plays the keys like a piano professor. Recommended.

Austin American Statesman

Lots of upbeat party tunes, a few peppy Cajun and Zydeco inflected zingers, some ballads, and a couple of love songs all delivered with Ball’s husky, soulful voice and driven by her nimble bogie-woogie piano. Ball is a classy, demanding, and talented musician. …energetic, terrific, gripping, riveting. Peace, Love & BB
Q is a sermon well-worth hearing.

allmusic.com

Swaggering New Orleans romp…Ball’s fingers are magic on the 88s and range through styles with ease.

Austin Chronicle

More fun than a barrel of funky monkeys. Ball’s awesome mélange of keyboard styles sets the tone: Call it the Zydeco boogie-woogie blues. Horns chug faster and faster, guitars drop by for a rock ‘n’ roll interlude.

National Public Radio

Peace, Love & BBQ is a welcome ray of sunshine. This is a potent batch of tunes, highlighted by Ball’s keyboard mastery. Smooth blues, sweet Zydeco, soulful, fast and furious Texas boogie….she kills every time. Heartfelt.

Billboard

Marcia Ball plays two-fisted New Orleans barrelhouse piano and sings in a husky, knowing voice about all the trouble men and women can get into on the way to a good time.

New York Times

Ball, a rocking singer/pianist, plays honky-tonk struts, party funk and soulful ballads. Her boogie-woogie piano style sets crowds in motion.

USA Today

A sensational, saucy singer and superb pianist...where Texas stomp-rock and Louisiana blues-swamp meet

USA Today

"An irresistible, celebratory blend of rollicking, two-fisted New Orleans piano, Louisiana Swamp rock and smoldering Texas blues from a compelling storyteller."

Boston Globe

"Ball takes her Louisiana R&B and soul from a stomp to the swamp and back. [She brings] dancehall power and majesty and no small amount of sly humor. Her hard-rocking, relentlessly rolling piano and heart-on-sleeve vocals don’t take much of a breather. Relentless tunefulness and finely-honed storytelling make for a truly enjoyable ride."

No Depression

Piano pounding Marcia Ball…red hot tracks from the Texas-Louisiana border…a joyful musical tour of the territory between New Orleans and Austin…masterful. Ball’s voice can break your heart with a ballad or break your back with a rocker is the secret weapon.
Boston Sunday Herald

Louisiana-meets-Texas style, Ball has an individual approach on the modern blues scene. A talented songwriter…she draws on swamp pop, southern soul and boogie-woogie piano chords, often within the same song. The result is an original sound that no on else can imitate. Sophisticated and earthy, Ball pounds the ivories like a classier Jerry Lee Lewis, . . Her originals sound like timeless classics and southern soul masterpieces.

Living Blues

Marcia Ball has this amazing power – even on record, she lights up a room.

Blues Revue

Marcia Ball is a woman with enough musicianship in her left hand to flatten a building-full of fly-by-night hype magnets and music biz sycophants. …Ball is a great singer and piano player.

Texas Music Magazine

What’s not to like about Marcia Ball? Scrumptious, Southern-fried boogies, blues, and ballads. …the infectious street beat of New Orleans is at the core …rollicking, horn-driven, funk, gospel-rockin’ …guaranteed to fill the dance floor.

Austin Chronicle

Take a buttery voice laid over two-fisted barrelhouse piano playing and apply it to boogie, blues, rock and soul and it’s a killer combination that leaves your toes tapping.

Associated Press

Talented and likeable…Ball is a walking musical repository of every musical style from Beaumont to Baton Rouge. Her boogie-n-blues ability on the piano is legendary. SO MANY RIVERS is a tour-de-force of Marcia’s musical obsessions…gospel-tinged soul…Marcia Ball has an uncanny ability to synthesize all the sounds of the Texas-Louisiana border and deliver them with an honesty that makes it all seem natural and logical.

Blues Revue

Marcia Ball plays two-fisted New Orleans barrelhouse piano and sings in a husky, knowing voice about all the trouble men and women can get into on the way to a good time.

New York Times

Based in Austin and steeped in New Orleans, Marcia Ball plumbs the richness of both musical meccas. From rootsy swamp pop and blues-drenched boogie-woogie to languid ballads, Ball is an expressive singer and lively pianist, equally comfortable with brash roadhouse romps and caressing love songs.

USA Today

Ball is a consummate pro – a killer pianist, a great singer and songwriter. Powerful. Righteous. So Many Rivers is the best album Ball has ever tracked.

Billboard

"Ball rocked the house with rollicking electric piano and colorful splashes of notes mixing equal parts of Jerry Lee Lewis’ flash and Professor Longhair’s elegant groove."

Chicago Tribune

Marcia Ball is one of the most versatile singers around, moving easily from Western swing to rock’n’roll to blues to ballads to just good ole hillbilly music."

Chicago Sun-Times

"The long tall Texan rolls out unflappable New Orleans piano and sings the blues and such with country sass and a soft moleskin burr. The boogie piano queen of Austin by way of the bayou, Ball feels and sounds at home on any stage."

Village Voice

"Ball draws from the music of her two hometowns, Austin and New Orleans, mixing lowdown Texas blues with shuffling Louisiana parade rhythms. Her voice and piano chops have made her a favorite on the roots circuit…Sultry, warm and very Southern. That’s Marcia Ball in a nutshell."

Boston Herald

"Texas-based, Louisiana-bred Marcia Ball embodies the best of both regions in her partying blend of New Orleans piano boogie and Austin roadhouse R&B."

USA Today

"Ball’s keyboard work is outstanding, her vocals affecting…and her songwriting commendable."

Blues Revue

"Clean, strong, inspired singing; superlative instrumental support…; and one fine song after another delivered with assurance and a dash of the sublime."

Down Beat

"Ball is the bayou queen of the piano, steeped in blues, honky-tonk and gospel. When revved, she’s a rollicking dynamo spewing heat-seeking triplets from the ivories while her horn driven band wails."

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Like most of the great blues singers, Ball has a throaty, penetrating voice and a style that manages to combine suggestions of romance, sorrow and defiance."

People

"…Marcia Ball is a formidable musical force"

PVV
Billboard

"(Presumed Innocent) is the pinnacle of Ball's career, a pop-soul masterpiece, and any other superlatives you feel like throwing at it."

Robert Fontenot
Blues Revue


"Singer/pianist Marcia Ball knows how to raise roofs and tear down walls. Presumed Innocent (is) without question one of the best of 2001."

Michael Wojoik
Bluesletter

"Ball has long been a triple threat as formidable musician, singer and entertainer. She can shift from elegant to Little Richard in a heartbeat."

Mindy Giles
Pulse!

"Ball's one of the most flamboyant keyboardists in blues, as well as one of the most talented"

Mark Bialczak
The Post Standard
Syracuse, NY

"There are "killer piano players" and then there are KILLER PIANO PLAYERS! Marcia Ball fits into the latter category. Ain't nobody ever seen her gonna forget her! ...She's 6 feet tall, with long dark hair that flies up, down, around and sideways as she raps out raucous, joyful, 8-to-the-bar, stride piano tunes, legs crossed, sitting sidesaddle at the piano, foot kicking in time to the New Orleans-style rhythms she is virtually yanking out of the 88's. In the pantheon of stride piano artists, she's ranked right up there with vintage Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Dr. John, Leon Russell - and the killer himself, Jerry Lee Lewis. ...After exploding behind the keyboard for a couple of numbers, she'll uncork a slow, bluesy tune - and unveil a smokey voice that grabs you equally as raptly as her piano pyrotechnics."

Ted Raymond
Daily News
Fort Walton Beach, FL

"Marcia Ball is simply the best female live performer working the blues circuit today."

Ken Berryman
Blue Notes

"...she appears to be the secret love child of Miss Manners and Little Richard, sitting demurely at the keyboard... while blowing the joint apart..."

Dave Tianen
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Ball,...is a ferocious player. As well as Professor Longhair, her sound also flashes influences like Chicago blues great Sunnyland Slim and Pinetop Perkins and accordionist Clifton Chenier, the father of zydeco. Ball's expressive voice,...has always been a perfect match for her piano stylings."
Jon Ferguson
Intelligencer Journal

"Ball is the bayou queen of the piano, steeped in blues, honky-tonk and gospel. When revved...she's a rollicking dynamo spewing heat-seeking triplets from the ivories while her horn driven band wails. She's also a subtle songwriter and a formidable singer with a wisp of huskiness edging her Cajun-Texan twang."

Rick Mason
Star Tribune
Minneapolis, MN