When the CD Shine Bright landed on my desk, my first reaction was Marcia who?
But then I remembered that I had already come across her unique-sounding take on the blues way back when.
In fact this is her 15th album in a recording career that harks back to 1972, and her seventh for Bruce Iglauer's Alligator label. Her sound reflects her devotion to the piano men of New Orleans, think Fats Domino, Professor Longhair and Allen Toussaint, as well as Buckwheat Zydeco's accordion.
On Shine Bright there's a sassy swing to Marcia Ball's sound that you could only have originated in the Crescent City.
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Rollicking boogie piano, a honking horn section, and a voice that's probably experienced a lifetime or two in smoky bars. Better still the gospelly delivery comes from the heart, as most of the songs are Marcia Ball originals.
Add in Ray Charles, Ernie K Doe and Jesse Winchester songs to her nine self-penned tunes and Shine Bright is a really potent mix of joyful, exuberant and soul-filled music. An appropriate testament to Marcia Ball's 50th year as a professional musician.