Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Roadside Attractions reviewed by Steve Jones

Roadside Attractions
Marcia Ball
Alligator Records
12 tracks

It’s hard not to love Marcia Ball.  Her music warms the cockle s of my heart, it makes me want to dance and thoroughly entertains my soul.  This new album features the illustrious Ms. Ball with 12 new tracks she has written.  Some are familiar because of her style but all are fun; it seems like her party is running 24/7.

Ball writes of loves won and lost, the joys of going or being home, and having fun with life.  She performs basically with two sets of musicians.  Recorded in part at Austin Texas’s Bismeaux Studio and in part at Fearless Recording in Nashville, she is surrounded by some pretty talented folks.  The Nashville stuff features Colin Linden on guitar, Steve Mackey on bass and Lynn Williams on drums.  Reese wynans also adds some sparkling B3 to a few of those tracks.  Mike Schermer is on the guitar, Don Bennett on bass, Damien Lanes is on drums in Austin with her. And assortment of others add backing vocals, horns and other textural music inputs to this fine and fun CD.

The title track sings of all the attraction and distractions one sees on the road but her true love resides at home and she is eager to go home for that love.  “That’s How It Goes” is a bouncy cut with the B3 added that jumps out and gets you dancing and ready for a good show; Marcia talks to us about how life goes and tells us all to loosen up.  “This Used to Be Paradise” is a lamenting song where she sings about the oil industry killed the Cajun’s fishing business. “Everybody’s Looking for the Same Thing” is sort of a swamp boogie tune that is basically a reworking of the old Willie Dixon song’s idea, except here it’s plain old love and not the more physical side it.  Cuts like “Sugar Boogie”, :”The Party’s Still Going On” and others show that she’s still the queen of the swamp boogie woogie.

Lot’s of other good tracks here, too.  Marcia’s new and old fans will love this one– she continues to put out some great stuff for Alligator.  Well done!

Reviewed by Steve Jones

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