The title track of singer/songwriter/pianist Marcia Ball’s new album, The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man, is an irresistible tale of true love at the traveling carnival. It’s a story that nobody but Ball could spin, filled with vivid details, universal truths, and a rambunctious sense of fun and desire. With raucous horns punctuating Ball’s legendary piano pounding and emotional, melodic vocals, the song kicks off a CD of eleven dazzling originals and one stirring cover. The release mixes Ball’s Gulf Coast blues, New Orleans R&B, swampy Louisiana ballads, and jumping, Tex-Mex flavored zydeco into a one-of-a-kind musical gumbo, a sound she has been perfecting over the course of her legendary career.
On The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man, Ball draws her listeners deep into her music with instantly memorable melodies and imaginative imagery. Her songs paint vibrant musical pictures, richly detailed with characters, flavors and scenes straight out of Louisiana, Texas and the Gulf Coast. From the poignant Just Keep Holding On to the fresh start of Clean My House to the surprising and timely The Squeeze Is On to the southern warmth of Human Kindness, Ball has delivered a set of songs so well written and so well performed, she’ll astound and delight her longtime fans and give newcomers plenty of reasons to join the party. Featuring her stellar, road-tested touring band, with help from friends Delbert McClinton and Terrance Simien and production by Grammy-winner Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Joe Louis Walker, James Cotton, Susan Tedeschi), The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man is happy, moving, joyful, stirring, thought-provoking, danceable and fun.
The Texas-born, Louisiana-raised musical storyteller has earned worldwide fame for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she strolls onto the stage. Her groove-laden New Orleans boogie, deeply soulful ballads and rollicking Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music fans all over the world. In 2010, she was inducted into the Gulf Coast Music Hall Of Fame and in 2012 into the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame. She’s received a total of six Living Blues Awards and nine Blues Music Awards (and has a whopping 42 nominations). She’s received five Grammy Award nominations, including for four of her five previous Alligator albums.
The New York Times says, “Marcia Ball plays two-fisted New Orleans barrelhouse piano and sings in a husky, knowing voice about all the trouble men and women can get into on the way to a good time.” Living Blues declares, “Her originals sound like timeless classics and southern soul masterpieces that no one else can imitate.” Of the new album, Ball says, “I don’t make a record until I have something to say, stories to tell, messages to impart. I try to make records that are true to me,” she continues, “and this one couldn’t be truer.” On The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man, the message is loud and clear: Marcia Ball has plenty of surprising and thought-provoking stories to tell, and the two-fisted piano prowess, sweet and soulful vocals and superlative songs with which to tell them.