I first heard Marcia Ball in the mid-90s. One of her songs, Blue House, was on a compilation CD called Blues Women Today. I really enjoyed the song and started keeping an eye out for her albums.
Then along came Memphis in May. Every year, the first weekend in May rocks the Mississippi River with the Beale Street Music Festival. I don't remember exactly which year--maybe 1997--my little sister, my ex-sister-in-law and I did a last minute what the heck and headed to Memphis. The big reason for the trip was to see Kenny Wayne Shepperd, an up and coming artist from Louisiana. But guess who else was on the lineup?
Marcia Ball. I fell in love with her voice, her energy and her obvious joy in her music. Wikipedia quotes the Boston Globe in describing her music as "an irresistible celebratory blend of rollicking, two-fisted New Orleans piano, Louisiana swamp-rock and smoldering Texas blues from a contemporary storyteller." I couldn't describe it better.
The trip that year started my love of Memphis. You can't beat the food, the fun and the music. They don't claim to be the home of the blues for nothing. Many of my novels are set in Memphis because of my infatuation with the town. And some of Marcia's music is usually ringing in my ears while I write them.
Try listening to Play With Your Poodle and not tap your toes...
Rose's Colored Glasses December Calendar Day 7 contest: For a $10 iTunes or Amazon.com gift card, post in the comments an artist who has inspired you. Winner will be announced on Saturday, December 11th.