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Saturday, 25 June 2011 00:25

An energetic combination of blues and honky-tonk with a touch of boogie woogie best describes this Louisiana native who has been entertaining sold-out venues throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe for over three decades.


Marcia BallHer versatile musical style is best described as a combination of Jerry Lee Lewis, Irma Thomas, Professor Longhair, and B.B. King. But Marcia is not an impersonator and her addition of the Cajun and Zydeco spice add just the right touch to her music genre.

Born in 1949 and growing up in Southwest Louisiana’s Vinton near the Texas border, Ball’s family included several female piano players. Her mother, grandmother and several aunts had all accomplished keyboard skills; and most family gatherings centered around the piano. She began piano lessons at age five playing music of her grandmother’s generation; and it wasn’t until she was 13 and heard the sounds of Irma Thomas, that Marcia had found her early niche.

In 1966 she entered L.S.U. and when not studying, she and her band played at many Baton Rouge nightclubs as a group known as Gum. Most of her music back then reflected the Irma Thomas influence and following graduation in 1970, she left Baton Rouge headed west for San Francisco. Marcia’s automobile broke down in Austin, Texas enroute and while she awaited its repair, visited several local clubs and decided to remain—never did get to San Francisco!

While in Austin, Ball added a blues sound to the local country music there and soon joined a band called Freda and the Firedogs. Marcia, of course, was Freda. She began writing her own music during this time and discovered the sound of New Orleans own Professor Longhair. His style and composition fit right in to what Marcia believed she wanted to play and when her group disbanded in 1974, she chose to continue on as a solo artist. In 1978 she signed with Capitol Records and debuted her first album, Circuit Queen. She continued writing and performing throughout the 80’s and 90’s and her popularity has continued to grow.

During an interview, Marcia described her family as supportive during her early years performing; but only to the extent that her music be considered a sideline. Getting a “real” job and settling down seemed to be the correct path. Eventually, her success and popularity grew and her family couldn’t help but recognize the acclaim the musical world had bestowed on this talented young woman.

Marcia now delights tens of thousands of fans at over 100 appearances a year. In just the next 8 months, she’ll perform in 10 different states and two European countries! She’s been featured on Austin City Limits, NPR Performances, and at the White House with B.B. King and Della Reese.

In 1990, Marcia was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame; and in 1998 she received the W.C. Handy Blues Award for Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year and was nominated as Best Blues Instrumentalist-Keyboards in 2000 and 2001. Her album Presumed Innocent was named Blues Album of the Year in 2002 and the follow-up, So Many Rivers won the 2004 Blues Music Award’sContemporary Blues Album of the Year. In three consecutive years beginning in 2005, Ball was honored as the Piano Player of the Year by the Blues Music Awards. And watch for one of her latest works, Peace, Love, & BBQ to follow with similar accolades.

I was very fortunate to hear Marcia perform last Mardi Gras down on a beach stage in South Florida and believe me when I say that her show is one you absolutely must experience. It’s impossible to remain seated during her New Orleans style R & B performance. Yet, unlike Jerry Lee Lewis, Marcia “rocks the house” while sitting comfortably as she creates rousing sounds from her “sizzling” keyboard. The backup band has been playing with her forever; even the newest members, for over 5 years. Their brassy splash is just the perfect compliment to Marcia’s New Orleans sound.

Marcia is featured in several interviews and various performances on You Tube. I recommend Party Time as a good example of what the excitement is all about! Obviously the best quality sounds are on any one of her several C.D.’s from your local music source. If you’d like to check out her upcoming schedule, log into her website at


Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2011 16:19