Marcia Ball to bring Louisiana blues to Northampton’s Iron Horse this Saturday

By Lauren Crociati


Northampton will be embellished with a bit of Louisiana flare this weekend. Blues singer and pianist Marcia Ball will take hold of the Iron Horse Music Hall stage this Saturday.

Ball was born in Texas but raised in Vinton, Louisiana, where she developed an interest in southern blues. She began playing the piano at the age of five, and was driven to continue doing so as a career through her family of blues and soul music lovers. On her website, Ball attributes her development as an artist to Irma Thomas, a New Orleans singer who would later inspire her musical style and passion for performing.

In her early years, while studying at Louisiana State University, Ball took roles in bands alongside other musicians with similar tastes, at some points even performing country-style music in place of blues, until she began her solo career in the early 70s. Once she began performing solo, her mix of piano and vocal skills truly blossomed, helping form the multifaceted rhythmic experience her music stands as today.

Throughout her career, Ball has received several nominations for her work and talent in the music industry. In the 2004 Blues Music Awards, Ball was named best Contemporary Blues, Female Artist along with a win for best Contemporary Blues Album of the Year. In 2011, her acclaimed album, “Roadside Attractions,” was nominated for a Grammy, her fifth overall nomination from the awards ceremony, following fellow Grammy nominees like “Peace, Love & BBQ” and “So Many Rivers.”

Ball also received a Grammy nomination for her 1998 collaboration with noted inspirations Irma Thomas and Tracy Nelson, “Sing It!”

Her performance at the Iron Horse will feature works from her most recent album, 2014’s “The Tattooed  Lady And The Alligator Man,” which features tracks that encompass Ball’s own storyline of a tale of love at a traveling carnival. One track on the album is a cover of Hank Ballard’s “He’s The One,” a lovely, jazzy tune whose sentiment perfectly captures the romance implied in the title.

Ball’s work is more upbeat and lively than not, with several tunes laced with lyrics that revolved around love and living life to its fullest potential, otherwise known as, “rockin’ ‘til the break of dawn,” as Ball sings in her song “The Party’s Still Going On”.

Ball tours frequently, and will be giving Northampton a taste of her feel-good, southern-flavored blues this weekend.
The show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30, and are available on, as well as with cash at the door.

Lauren Crociati can be reached at [email protected]