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Blue House

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Album Review

Though purists may quibble about her interpretations of classic material, just about everyone acknowledges that Marcia Ball is one fine songwriter. Blue House contains eight gems of swamp boogie fusion delivered in Ball's supple, slinky voice. Listen to "The Facts of Life," a slow, sensual, worldly piece of Louisiana soul with an irresistible melody. It takes some living to write this kind of song, and considerable skill to give it this memorable delivery. Consider "St. Gabriel," a song that sounds so much like a lost blues classic that you'll check the credits to see what Delta legend penned it. Surprise! It's Marcia Ball. Her covers on Blue House are unusually well chosen — "Fingernails" fits her so well that it's hard to believe it's a Joe Ely tune, and her piano work on "Red Beans" does the song proud. And if her slightly subdued performance on "If This Is Love" isn't quite up to the energy level that the song deserves, it's one cut out of 12, and the other 11 are stellar. Blue House is a marvelous album with plenty of personality and character, and highly recommended.

Biography

Born: 20 March 1949 in Orange, TX

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Pianist and singer/songwriter Marcia Ball is a living example of how East Texas blues meets southwest Louisiana swamp rock. Ball was born March 20, 1949, in Orange, Texas, but grew up across the border in Vinton, Louisiana. That town is squarely in the heart of "the Texas triangle," an area that includes portions of both states and that has produced some of the country's greatest blues talents: Janis Joplin, Johnny and Edgar Winter, Queen Ida Guillory, Lonnie Brooks, Zachary Richard, Clifton Chenier,...
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Blue House, Marcia Ball
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