Marcia Ball

When long, tall Marcia Ball tickles the ivories with a rollicking rash of triplets inherited from Professor Longhair and spiced with a little Texas honky-tonk, blues, Cajun, and zydeco, she leaves listeners satisfied and tickled too (to cop a term from Taj Mahal), and raring for more. When Ball and her band fire things up, it's party time, Louisiana style, her sizzling piano acrobatics leading the way through classics like Bobby Charles's "Party Town" and Clifton Chenier's "Hot Tamale Mama," plus an array of fine originals. Her piano prowess overshadows her vocals and songwriting—both vastly underrated—as she mixes up wild anthems and gripping ballads, the latter these days often addressing the post-Katrina terrain. Last year's Peace, Love & BBQ (Alligator) had more than its usual share of tributes to the embattled Crescent City, including a duet with Dr. John and horn arrangements by Wardell Quezerque. But as they understand in New Orleans more than just about anywhere, the party must go on, regardless. And with Marcia Ball at the keyboard, it'll never falter.
Sun., Aug. 2, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2009

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