Marcia Ball Will Make You Smile

Tuesday May 16, 2023

Marcia Ball

NEWBURYPORT – Marcia Ball is “A force of nature,” as Belleville Roots founder Ken Irwin describes her. The song writer, piano player and soulful singer will bring her triple threat act here Saturday to put a smile on the face of every concert goer.
Ball, a multiple Grammy winner, is a member of the Austin City Limits’ Hall of Fame. She began playing the piano and singing her own fun, quirky songs on the popular television show in 1976.
The Texas Songwriters Association recently named her its 2023 Texas Music Legend.
“She is one of my favorites,” Irwin said. “She beings a party wherever she goes. We are pleased to get her” for the Belleville Roots Music Series.
She will perform with her full band on Saturday, May 20, at the Belleville Congregational Church, 300 High St., Newburyport.
The band includes Mike Schermer on guitar, Michael Archer on bass, Eric Bernhardt on saxophone, Mo Roberts on drums and Johnny Medina on sound.
Ball has ventured north to Newburyport from her Texas and Louisiana routes once before when she performed at ParkFest on the Merrimack Waterfront.
The New York Times wrote of her, “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.”
Billboard Magazine described her as, “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.”
Her latest album, Shine Bright, contains eight originals, that reflect her Cajun heritage and sense of humor. The title song, appealing for public and private acts of courage, is entitled Pots And Pans. The album also offers humorous advice in her song, Life of the Party.
Ball grew up in a family whose female members played the piano. She began taking lessons at age five, and at 13 discovered the power of soul music when she heard Irma Thomas perform in a show at the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans.
She left Louisiana for San Francisco, CA, in 1970, but her car broke down in Austin, TX, where she joined a band. In 1974, Ball launched her solo career and began touring outside of Texas and Louisiana.
She signed with Capitol Records in 1977, debuting with the country-rock album Circuit Queen. As she created and honed her own sound, she released six critically acclaimed titles on the Rounder Records label during the 1980s and 1990s.
Rounder also produced her “three divas of the blues” with Tracy Nelson and her longtime inspiration, Irma Thomas. The CD, Sing It!, was released in 1998 and was nominated for a Grammy Award.
The concert begins at 8 p.m., and tickets range from $10 to $40.
Irwin said young couples should bring their children. At $10 for children 18 years old and younger, “it is cheaper than a babysitter,” he said.
For more information and buy tickets, call the church at 978-234-4515 or visit

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