Marcia Ball

Heaping helping of high-profile local LPs

Texas Platters

After 44 years of singing Bayou blues, Marcia Ball proves she can reinvent herself with a keystroke. Accompanied by a burst of brass, Austin's longtime ivory merchant pounds torrid tales of The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man and their sideshow endeavors on her fifth release for Alligator Records. Follow-up to the straight arrow Roadside Attractions in 2011, the NOLA boogie is punctuated by subtle appearances from fellow Lone Star staples. Delbert McClinton's freight train harmonica on "Can't Blame Nobody but Myself" ups the ante, followed by Thad Scott's jubilant tenor saxophone and Wendy Moten's soulful backup vocals engulfing "Just Keep Holding On." Meanwhile Ball croons in her feathery drawl, running the gamut from beery honky-tonk ("Like There's No Tomorrow") to electric groove ("Lazy Blues"). She tames R&B nostalgia with a tender rendition of "He's the One," a Fifties Hank Ballard classic, then steers back into Texas country with the accordion-laced "The Squeeze Is On." The album arrives rightly dedicated to Marcia Ball's fellow Austin cornerstone, late singer-songwriter Sarah Elizabeth Campbell, who, before succumbing to cancer last December, embraced her craft and peers above everything else.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Marcia Ball
Texas Platters
Marcia Ball
Shine Bright (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, June 29, 2018

Margaret Moser Tribute: Marcia Ball
Marcia Ball
“She’s a music writer who writes to enlighten”

Belinda Acosta, June 30, 2017

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Gary Clark Jr.
This Land (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Rosie Flores
Simple Case of the Blues (Record Review)

Jay Trachtenberg, March 22, 2019

More by Nina Hernandez
Indoor Skydiving Lets You Train Your Dragon in Virtual Reality
Indoor Skydiving Lets You Train Your Dragon in Virtual Reality
Taking to the skies with iFly's latest immersive VR

March 27, 2019

New Study Changes City Council's View of Flood Risk
New Study Changes City Council's View of Flood Risk
Puzzling over a variance on Avenue D, and spending the first of the 2018 bond funds

March 15, 2019


Marcia Ball

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle