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Marcia Ball - Peace, Love & B.B.Q.

Alligator Records

Marcia Ball: pianist, vocalist, and song-writer. This is her first studio recording in four years, but she has been out there playing since the early 1970s. Her stock keeps rising with each accomplishment.

She has been nominated for numerous awards and won some big ones, like the BMA’s “Blues Album of the Year in 2002.” Also nominated for a Grammy, she won the BMA for “Contemporary Blues Album of the Year” in 2004, plus, she won the coveted “Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the year.” Again in ‘05, nominated for another Grammy, she instead was honored with a three year run as the Blues Music Award’s “Piano Player of the Year award in 2005, ‘06, and ’07.”

Marcia says, title wise, “Peace, Love and B.B.Q.” are three of her favorite things. This recording was produced by Stephen Bruton. Marcia wrote or co-wrote 8 of the 13 songs. It was recorded with the help of a few friends like Dr. John, Wayne Toups, Tracy Nelson, and, Terrance Simien is on a few of these songs. There is an impeccable sax by Thad Scott, lead guitar by Mike Keller, and drumming by Corey Keller. Accordion is shared by Marcia, Terrance Simien, Wayne Toups, and Stephen Bruton.

She takes you from a back yard B.B.Q. eating watermelon and getting sticky to dancing the next minute and, the next, telling a beautiful story about riding the storm out in an Alabama house that her daddy built, to singing a soulful ballad about “Falling Back In Love With You.”

The first cut is about New Orleans being a party town. (like, no one knows that) but the way she does it is phenomenal. She gets her sax player working it right out of the gate with her on the keys making it sound like a jazzy-swamp-zydeco mix, like only Marcia can deliver!

The second, the title cut, is definitely a fun song describing a family back yard B.B.Q. The way she writes about the kids hanging from the tree limbs, swinging, and “big daddy having a fit, cause he can't get the charcoal lit,” makes you feel you were there and can smell the B.B.Q sauce. She surely paints a beautiful, descriptive painting with her words.

“Married Life” a very nice song with a zydeco flare, and the accordion is excellent.

Marcia Ball is a winner from stunning vocals to her barrelhouse piano playing. I think this review could go on for about three weeks and still wouldn't touch all the wonderful sounds that come out of this C.D. I "Highly Recommend" this one.

by Tom "The Energizer" Schlesinger

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