Roadside Attractions (Alligator)
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., April 15, 2011
Marcia BallRoadside Attractions (Alligator)
The last thing on Marcia Ball's mind when her car broke down in Austin some 40 years ago was what she might be recording here in 2011. From her Louisiana roots to her Texas base, Ball marks a decade with venerable Chicago blues indie Alligator Records not by traveling new paths on Roadside Attractions, but rather by demonstrating her unfailing sense of what's right in new material that crackles with life. She's at her rollicking best on "That's How It Goes," a song whose title says it all, along with "The Party's Still Going On" and "Mule Headed Man," and the local pianist will always carry the torch hard for tear-in-the-Dixie-beer ballads ("I Heard It All"). All tracks are written or co-written by Ball, but what makes Roadside Attractions worth pulling over for is that she's had decades to hone an ever-wonderful brand of bayou boogie and nonstop keyboard pounding that never grows old.