Long tall Marcia Ball, queen of ivory-billed triplets descended from Professor Longhair and doused in the honky-tonk-laced sloughs of Texas-Louisiana border country, is equally capable of firing up party anthems and fashioning wrenching ballads. She does both on last spring's Peace, Love & BBQ, framing her first post-Katrina studio disc with Bobby Charles's "Party Town," about New Orleans's enticing charms, and "Where Do You Go?" a gospel-tinged lament about tragedy and loss co-written and sung with Austin pal Tracy Nelson. In between, she celebrates resilience and survival on the Gulf Coast with quirky tall tales ("Ride It Out"), simple pleasures ("Watermelon Time"), touches of Cajun and zydeco, and sheer tributes to the Crescent City via horn arrangements from NOLA icon Wardell Quezerque and collaborations with Dr. John. Ball's rousing piano forays may be a bit downplayed in favor of her fine, tangy vocals. But that shouldn't be an issue at the Dakota, where the walls should be thoroughly scoured by both. $35 at 7 p.m.; $25 at 9:30 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 14, 2008