Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

MARCIA BALL

TATTOOED LADY AND THE ALLIGATOR MAN

2014-09-21

With her road hardened band (Don Bennett-bass, Damien LLanes-drums, Michael Schermer- guitar and Thad Scott- tenor sax) and a host of guests (Delbert McClinton, Terrance Simien, Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff, Shelley King, Carolyn Wonderland and Amy Helm) providing solid support, Marcia Ball launches into 11brand new tracks and one cover on this terrific new disc. As is always the case with her discs the songs feature ample doses of her stellar piano and fine vocals in service of a wide range of musical styles and lyrics. The title cut is a rocking ode to a couple of side-show oddities, while the sole cover Hank Ballard's "He's the One" is a slow-burning ballad about unending love, a theme echoed in the elegant, soulful, "Just Keep Holding On". While Ball can wax eloquently about her man and lives in fear of losing the one she wants, "The Last To Know", she's just as adept at tossing an undeserving one to the curb, "Clean My House". Ball's talents as a songwriter aren't limited to the exploration of the ups and downs of relationships: She also knows all the ingredients of a good party, "Like There's No Tomorrow", the pitfalls of being a bit too carefree, "Can't Blame Nobody But Myself", and isn't afraid to preach a bit about the need for all of us to treat others with dignity, "Human Kindness". As befitting her Louisiana/Texas border roots she adeptly mixes roadhouse rockers, "Hot Springs" and "Get You A Woman", low key blues, "Lazy Blues", with some Louisiana spice compliments of Terrence Simien's accordion, "The Squeeze is On". From party ready rock and blues to soulful ballads this disc has it all and stands tall against Ball's stellar catalogue. SMITTY

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