MARCIA BALL | SONNY LANDRETH
Tuesday, March 5 at 8 p.m.
“Rollicking, playful, good-time blues and intimate, reflective balladry...her songs ring with emotional depth” –Rolling Stone
"A welcome ray of sunshine...Ball is a killer pianist, a great singer and songwriter. Potent blues, sweet zydeco, soulful, fast and furious Texas boogie...heartfelt, powerful and righteous" –Billboard
“Fifty years have passed in a flash,” says Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist, songwriter and vocalist Marcia Ball of her long and storied career. Ball, the 2018 Texas State Musician Of The Year, has won worldwide fame and countless fans for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she takes the stage. Her rollicking Texas boogies, swampy New Orleans ballads and groove-laden Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music lovers all over the world.
With each new release, her reputation as a profoundly soulful singer, a boundlessly talented pianist and a courageous, inventive songwriter continues to grow. Her love of the road has led to years of soul-satisfying performances at festivals, concert halls and clubs. The New York Times says, “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.” The Houston Chronicle says simply, “She’s as perfect as an artist can be.”
With her new album, Shine Bright, Ball set out to, in her words, “Make the best Marcia Ball record I could make.” In doing so, she has put together the most musically substantial, hopeful and uplifting set of songs of her five-decade career. “It is a ridiculously hopeful, cheerful record,” says Ball, in light of some of the album’s more serious subject matter. The secret, according to Ball “is to set the political songs to a good dance beat.”
Altogether, Ball holds ten Blues Music Awards, ten Living Blues Awards, and five Grammy Award nominations. She has been inducted into both the Gulf Coast Music Hall Of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame. The Texas State legislature named her the official 2018 Texas State Musician. As her hometown Austin Chronicle says, “What’s not to like about Marcia Ball?”
The Boston Globe calls Ball “a compelling storyteller” who plays “an irresistible, celebratory blend of rollicking, two-fisted New Orleans piano, Louisiana swamp rock and smoldering Texas blues.”
Of course, Ball will bring the party on the road, playing her new songs and old favorites for fans around the globe. “I still love the feel of the wheels rolling,” she says, “and the energy in a room full of people ready to go wherever it is we take them.” With both her new album and her legendary live performances, Marcia Ball will shine a light into the darkness, making the world a brighter place one song at a time.
After a dozen acclaimed albums, virtuoso slide guitarist and bandleader Sonny Landreth found himself at an artistic crossroads. He wanted to finally create the full-length acoustic collection his fans had long requested. But he was also itching to capture the sound of his stalwart electric trio augmented by a couple of his favorite collaborators. And the time was certainly right for an elastic, career-spanning double-live album.
So Landreth and his longtime friends decided to do it all. Recorded Live in Lafayette is a 16-song opus that covers more musical ground than any single album ever could, as the singer and songwriter’s work stretches and twists across 93 minutes of full-band acoustic and electric bottleneck lightning.
Landreth has collaborated with the very top names in guitar over the years: Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Eric Johnson, Derek Trucks—the list goes on. The noted slideman cut his musical teeth in The Red Hot Louisiana Band of zydeco king, Clifton Chenier, and Landreth has since recorded and toured with artists ranging from John Mayall to John Hiatt. Recorded Live in Lafayette adds another major chapter to his tale, as new vocal and instrumental colors emerge.