Marcia Ball, Presumed Innocent

John Morthland

By John Morthland

on 07.27.11 in Reviews
Singing that balances tenderness and true grit

Born on one side of the Texas-Louisiana border and raised on the other, Ball’s been based in Austin since 1970 while evolving her ingenious take on New Orleans piano tempered with country, soul and boogie-woogie. Her singing balances tenderness and true grit. The swamp-poppish “Let the Tears Roll Down” bears a nagging pain that keeps returning like a bad check, and “Scene of the Crime” rocks like nobody’s business. “Louella” stupendously brings that slaphappy Ace Records feel into the 2000s.