Album Reviews

Marcia Ball – The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man (Alligator Records)




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Marcia Ball The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator ManWe have too long been deprived of this lanky wonderful artist’s funky driving Louisiana rhythms, her soulful voice and the great songs she writes and sings.  This is her first new disc in a few years, and she has her usual group of cohorts surrounding her. However, she also enlisted the help of a few more friends to spice things up even more. Among those helping are Tom Hambridge (producer, harmony vocals, and tambourine), Delbert McClinton (harmonica), and Terrance Simien, who adds his golden voice for harmony vocals and accordion on the appropriately titled “The Squeeze Is On.”

Marcia Ball’s music is fun, upbeat, bouncy, funky swampy blues that just picks you up and carries you along for the ride.  The rhythms are infectious and just about right for fun and dancing no matter what time it is.  Her voice has that just the right amount of familiarity and huskiness to welcome you home after a long day.  The rhythms are driving and the emotional vocal performances seal the deal to get you to start moving even if it is just toe tapping and nodding your head in time.  From the zydeco drenched “The Squeeze Is On”, to the intense but heartfelt “Human Kindness”, all the way to the party title track, she plays it the way she feels it.  Play it all out today because tomorrow is not here yet.

One thing you can count on is Marcia’s heart and soul.  It is in every song with an intensity that is nonpareil. She is truly one of a kind and as great as this disc is, go see her live. There are few performers that can put on a show like this.

– Bob Gottlieb

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