Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Music For the Writer's Soul: Marcia Ball

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.

26 comments:

Brandi said...

I know this is probably a strange answer, but Prince. He shows you it is okay to be versatile and be wild as long as you be who you want to be. I don't know how true this next statement is, but my viewpoint takes it as true. I had heard that at one point his record labor was giving him crap & that was around the time his music umm let's go with "was not up to normal standards". Basically he was stuck in a contract he hated so he rebelled. While at the time it sucked for us, at least he stuck up for his rights. (now this is all from my viewpoint & could be totally wrong, but hey, at least I got something out of it). Later on when he started touring again he was actually giving out free CDs to fans. I saw it as giving back. Ok, enough rambling for today, lol.

Brandi
scssugar(at)yahoo(dot)com

Elle James said...

Have you googled Sam Tsui? He's a student at Yale (I think) and he has videos on youtube that are amazing. He's inspired me with his voice and creativity. Check him out!

hotcha12 said...

CONGRATS WINNERS! I JUST DISCOVERED THIS SITE AND TOO LATE TO ENTER.

Anne said...

I can't think of any artist that's inspired me to do anything. Since I'm not artistic, if one did inspire me it would probably be more for their philanthropic work.

acm05atjuno.com

Anne said...

I love Memphis in May! That is such a fun road trip. Going to New Orleans for wedding late December so we will definetly hit the clubs for some wild music.

LuAnn said...

I feel one of the most inspirational artists today is Julie Andrews. She has gone through so much with losing her voice and all, but she still finds way to grace us with her talent.

LuAnn said...

Whoops! Forgot my email.

reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

Jennifer Mathis said...

evanescents for me i love those hauntingly beautiful songs

meandi09@yahoo.com

Judy said...

I enjoy the Christmas songs. I have an old Elvis one that is fantastic and I have one by Aaron Neville that I listened to from Thanksgiving through Christmas. I think he has such a beautiful voice when he sings the Christmas songs.


Judy
magnolias_1[at]msn[dot]com

Christine H said...

Well it would have had to been
Micheal Jackson. I was in love with him when I was 10 had his posters on my walls, I never thought his life would end. It' just so sad.

chirth7@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

well back in my day Elivis was th King of rock and roll, I was pregnant with my daughter when his last contest came to our town, then he died I never got to see him perform. It would have been amazing!! shundelt@yahoo.com

Jeff said...

It would have to be Kiss, I've been a fan of the band all my life and seen almost every concert to come to Missouri.

Jeff72768@yhoo.com

joder said...

Johnny Cash was amazing. Lyrics that dug deep with a gravelly voice that had been through a lot. His longevity and continued popularity even in today's music scene was incredible. My dad loved his music and I always think of dad when Listening to Johnny.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

UteH said...

I'm from Germany and a hard rock fan. But at the same time I like medieval music.
So my preferred band is Saltatio Mortis - if you want to check them out, there are a few clips on youtube - oh and I'm pretty normal, if you overlook my taste in music ;)

Jane said...

The Verve and their songs have inspired me.

marybelle said...

I can't actually say I have been inspired by any musical artist. I'm more of a science/history buff.

marypres@gmail.com

Eliza Gayle said...

I'm inspired by so much music it would be impossible to choose just one. Although AC/DC did inspire a whole book. lol

*lizzie starr said...

Music is very important in my writing. And it's difficult to choose just one. So much depends on what I'm writing.

That said...the group Apocalyptica and their fierce cello rock are high on the list, and bring the muse to many tales.

She said...

Ryan Kelly from Celtic Thunder recently released his own CD called IN TIME. It's fantastic! Most of the songs he wrote himself. His songs speak to me and make me think of others besides myself.

Brinda said...

Kings of Leon band have been my favorite for years. Aha, Shake, Heartbreak puts me in a great mood every time.

LORETTA CANTON said...

I love Billy Joel song I Love You Just the Way you Are because I wanted to be love that way. It is nice.

loretta

lbcanton@verizon.net

annalisa said...

I would have to say listening to Madonna's early music always inspired me to do housework. LOL! :)

TOPSAIL246(at)aol(dot)com

Shayla Kersten said...

Wow! Didn't expect this many comments. And I didn't think about how expensive the question of inspiration artists could be! I'm headed over to iTunes to search for a lot of new names and some old ones. *cackle*

rayleewilliams said...

Nice topic. Music is the first love of my life, even over writing and reading. I'd have to say an artist that proved most inspirational is Dave Mustaine of Megadeth. The band's numerous albums are the soundtrack to Dave's life, and something fans identify with.

Clark Stone said...

The one artist that helped me at a time I needed it was Neil Diamond. If it were not for his song "I am, I said." This song got me through high school and gave me the strength to keep going.

I will listen to the song when I start doubting myself.

Dennis H. Clarkston
AKA Clark Stone

Shayla Kersten said...

Winner of the $10 iTunes or Amazon gift card is Loretta Canton! Congratulations, Loretta!

Thank you to everyone who posted. I'm still wading through all the great music everyone mentioned! My iTunes wishlist is huge right now!

Sorry for the delay in announcing the winner! I've so many contests going, I'm losing track!