Peace, Love & BBQ

Peace, Love & BBQ

by Marcia Ball


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Like other artists on the Alligator label, it can be tough to distinguish one Marcia Ball album from the next. Lots of upbeat party tunes, a few peppy Cajun and Zydeco inflected zingers, some ballads, and a couple of love songs all delivered with Ball's husky, soulful voice and driven by her nimble boogie-woogie piano describes this album as well as her older ones. But that's not necessarily a problem since she is such a classy, demanding, and talented musician it just means her quality control is high enough so there aren't any clunkers. Still, she has defined her niche through the decades and mines it on her first studio release in five years and tenth overall. There are a larger percentage of originals here -- eight of the 13 tunes are either written or co-written by the lanky pianist/singer, and all are up to her usual standards. Horns -- some arranged by the legendary Wardell Quezergue, who has worked with Fats Domino and Professor Longhair -- punctuate five tracks and add even more hot sauce to the proceedings. Stephen Bruton's nimble production keeps the sound open and spacious by highlighting Ball's voice in the mix. Tracy Nelson returns from the album she, Irma Thomas, and Ball jointly released to provide duet vocals on the melancholy "Where Do You Go?," a moving ballad they co-wrote. The festive cuts display Ball's energetic delivery with Bobby Charles' New Orleans loving "Party Town" kicking off the proceedings. Wayne Toups provides Cajun accordion for the frisky "Married Life," and "Right Back on It" references a Chuck Berry goes to Louisiana approach that's right down Ball's alley. Dr. John adds his distinctive croak to "I'll Never Be Free," a classic American standard that allows both singers a chance to croon and swoon and is reminiscent of the version Louis Armstrong performed with Ella Fitzgerald. Ball taps the Bill Withers catalog for "I Wish You Well," a terrific closing tune that gives saxist Thad Scott room to let loose. The most gripping moment, though, is Ball's own "Miracle in Knoxville." It's a riveting story about a preacher being struck down dead in front of a tent revival where he was baptizing the believers. The eerie track is rather incongruously stuck between the playful title tune and the lighthearted funk of "Watermelon Time" but shows the singer/songwriter can compose lyrics that deal with more serious subjects than her usual fare. Like that man of the cloth, Ball might be preaching to the converted with Peace, Love & BBQ, but it's a sermon well worth hearing.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/08/2008
Label: Alligator Records
UPC: 0014551492221
catalogNumber: 4922
Rank: 58055

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Marcia Ball   Primary Artist,Piano,Accordion,Vocals
Terrance Simien   Accordion,Choir, Chorus
Wayne Toups   Accordion,Choir, Chorus
Ian McLagan   Hammond Organ
Christine Albert   Harmony
David Barard   Bass,Bass Guitar
Stephen Bruton   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Choir, Chorus
Vickie Carrico   Harmony
Cindy Cashdollar   Lap Steel Guitar
Herman V. Ernest   Drums
Lon Price   Saxophone
Lee Thornburg   Trombone,Trumpet
Dr. John   Organ,Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Clavinet
Chris Gage   Harmony
Terry Tucker   Harmony
Don Bennett   Bass,Choir, Chorus
Corey Keller   Drums,Choir, Chorus
Tracy Lee Nelson   Harmony
Thad Scott   Saxophone
Mike Keller   Electric Guitar,Choir, Chorus
Barry "Frosty" Smith   Bongos,Conga,Triangle,cowbell

Technical Credits

Marcia Ball   Composer
Bennie Benjamin   Composer
Tony Braunagel   Composer
Stephen Bruton   Producer
Chet Himes   Engineer
Ross Hogarth   Engineer
Wardell Quezergue   Horn Arrangements
George David Weiss   Composer
McIntosh County Shouters   Composer
Chris Finney   Engineer
Corey Keller   Composer
Thad Scott   Composer
Mike Keller   Composer

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