Born: March 20, 1949
Marcia Ball honed her powerful singing and deft, rollicking keyboard chops while growing up in Vinton, Louisiana. After attending Louisiana State University, she moved to Austin, Texas in the late 1970s.
Ball proved an important and popular figure on the Austin music scene, first as the leader of Freda & the Firedogs, and later as a solo artist signed to Capital Records. Her recording debut was a progressive country album titled Circuit Queen (1978).
In the 1980s, Ball’s signature piano style, a mix of zydeco, swamp blues, Louisiana blues and boogie woogie, emerged and she signed with Rounder Records. At Rounder, she released a succession of popular and critically acclaimed albums including, Soulful Dress (1984), Hot Tamale Baby (1985), Gatorhythms (1989), Let Me Play with Your Poodle (1997) and Sing It! (1998) the Grammy nominated album with Tracy Nelson and Irma Thomas.
In 2001, Marcia Ball moved over to Alligator Records where she continued to match her excellent singing and songwriting skills with her signature superb piano playing on a number of award winning albums including, Presumed Innocent (2001) a Handy Award winner for “Blues Album of the Year,” the Grammy Nominated “Contemporary Blues Album of the Year” So Many Rivers (2003), as well as the Grammy Nominated Live! Down the Road (2005) and Peace, Love & BBQ (2008). Ball was awarded the Blues Music Award for “Contemporary Blues Artist of the Year – Female” in 2004 and won “Best Blues Instrumentalist – Keyboards” in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009.
She was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 1990 and continues to play clubs and festivals the world over.