World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Marcia Ball

Marcia Ball
Marcia Ball in concert (2011)
Background information
Born (1949-03-20) March 20, 1949
Orange, Texas, U.S.
Origin Vinton, Louisiana, U.S.
Occupation(s) Musician
  • Piano
  • Vocals
Years active 1970–present
Associated acts
Website .com.marciaballwww

Marcia Ball (born March 20, 1949, Orange, Texas)[1] is an American blues singer and pianist, born in Orange, Texas who was raised in Vinton, Louisiana.[1]

She was described in USA Today as "a sensation, saucy singer and superb pianist... where Texas stomp-rock and Louisiana blues-swamp meet."[2] The Boston Globe described her music as "an irresistible celebratory blend of rollicking, two-fisted New Orleans piano, Louisiana swamp rock and smoldering Texas blues from a contemporary storyteller."[3]


  • Career 1
  • Discography 2
    • Solo or principal artist 2.1
    • Other contributions 2.2
  • Filmography 3
  • Festival appearances 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Ball was born into a musical family. Her grandmother and aunt both played piano music of their time and Ball started piano lessons when she started school,[4] and showed an early interest in New Orleans style piano playing, as exemplified by Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, and James Booker. She has named Irma Thomas, the New Orleans vocalist, as her chief vocal inspiration. Ball studied English at Louisiana State University in the 1960s while playing in a band called Gum.[1] In 1970, at age 21, she started a progressive country band called Freda and the Firedogs in Austin, Texas, and began her solo career in 1974.[5]

Ball's piano style includes elements of zydeco, swamp blues, Louisiana blues and boogie woogie.[6] She began her recording career as a solo artist with Rounder Records in the 1980s and early 1990s.[5] In 2001, she joined the Chicago-based Alligator Records. Her Rounder album, Sing It!, which featured vocalists Irma Thomas and Tracy Nelson, released in January 1998 was nominated for a Grammy Award and a Blues Music Award for "Best Contemporary Blues Album." Ball received the 1998 Blues Music Award for "Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year" and "Best Blues Instrumentalist-Keyboards."[7]

She was awarded "Contemporary Blues Album of the Year" for her albums Presumed Innocent (2002) and So Many Rivers (2004). The same year she also won "Contemporary Blues Artist of the Year-Female." She won the "Best Blues Instrumentalist-Keyboards" again in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. Her 2003 Alligator release, So Many Rivers, was nominated for a Grammy as were Live! Down The Road (2005) and Peace, Love & BBQ (2008). She was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 1990.

Ball has continued to work with Irma Thomas. In 2006, the two contributed a duet ("Look Up") on the New Orleans Social Club release, Sing Me Back Home (Burgundy Records/Honey Darling Records). In 2007, the two contributed another duet ("I Can't Get New Orleans Off My Mind") to Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Vanguard Records). She continues to play at nightclubs, particularly in Austin and New Orleans, and performs at music festivals in North America and overseas.[1]

In May 2015, Ball won the 'Pinetop Perkins Piano Player' award at the Blues Music Awards ceremony.[8]


Solo or principal artist

Other contributions


Festival appearances

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Allmusic biography
  2. ^ Gundersen, Edna. USA Today, February 5, 2006.
  3. ^ Gilbert, Andrew (February 19, 2006), "A Gulf Coast treasure breaks out", Boston Globe, retrieved October 26, 2009 
  4. ^ from and interview with Marcia Ball on episode 208 of the Americana Music Show, published September 11, 2014
  5. ^ a b Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues – From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Ltd. p. 90.  
  6. ^ Biography,; accessed March 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Biodata,; accessed March 19, 2015.
  8. ^ "2015 Blues Music Awards Winners". Retrieved 2015-05-18. 

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.