5-time Grammy-nominated pianist bringing the blues to North Tahoe | SierraSun.com

5-time Grammy-nominated pianist bringing the blues to North Tahoe

Kaleb Roedel | kroedel@sierrasun.com
Marcia Ball was born in Orange, Texas, and was raised in Vinton, La.
Courtesy Mary Keating Bruton |

If you go

What: An Evening with Marcia Ball

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25 (Doors open at 8 p.m.)

Where: Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room

Tickets: $18 (advance); $22 (door)

Also this weekend: The CBC Crown Room will be the place to be Saturday night for a “Dead vs. Phish” show, featuring Shafty (Phish Tribute) and Achilles Wheel (Grateful Dead Tribute).

Info: devildogshows.com; crystalbaycasino.com

CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — Every time Marcia Ball passes through the Lake Tahoe area, if time allows, the touring pianist and singer-songwriter said she likes to experience the memorable scenery.

Her first priority, though, is to give those who attend her show a memorable experience.

Such will be the case Friday night when the critically acclaimed Ball takes the stage of the Crystal Bay Club Casino Crown Room.

“My gosh, I’m looking forward to it very much,” said Ball, who will be joined by a four-piece backing band (bass, drum, guitar and saxophone). “We’ve played there (Crystal Bay Casino) a few times and have always had a wonderful time and wonderful crowds.”

Those planning to be part of Friday’s crowd, especially music-lovers who’ve never been to a show of Ball’s, be sure to bring your dance shoes.

The Texas-born, Louisiana-raised musician’s groove-laden piano hammering and belting, melodic vocals — a sound described by USA Today as “an irresistible, celebratory blend of rollicking, two-fisted New Orleans piano, Louisiana Swamp rock and smoldering Texas blues” — are known for stirring up a leg-shaking scene.

It only makes sense coming from an artist with a song titled “Shake A Leg,” off of her 2001 album “Presume Innocent,” one of two albums that have earned Ball a “Contemporary Blues Album of the Year” award.

Her head-turning — or rather, head-bopping — resumé also includes five Grammy Award nominations.

Bill Wood, Crystal Bay Casino general manager, said he’s been a fan of Ball’s since she first found her musical groove in Austin, Texas, in the early ’70s. (Interesting side note: In 1970, Ball said she was bound for San Francisco when her car broke down in Austin along the way; she fell in love with the city and scrapped her travel plans to the Bay Area.)

“She’s always been one of my favorites, and really anyone who’s ever seen her would consider her to create a fun time,” Wood said. “The deal with Marcia is — if I could say one thing about her — whenever you leave a Marcia Ball show, you got a big old smile on your face.

“There are certain artists, where you almost feel like it’s a family reunion type situation, and she just brings that fun, family, party attitude to every gig she has.”

Friday at Crystal Bay Casino should be no exception.

Ball said her set list will include a portion of her latest album, “The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man” (2014), as well as older cuts and crowd favorites, numbers like “Louella” and “La Ti Da,” spanning across her 43-year, 17-album (and counting) career.

“We kind of leave it up to the people in the audience to shout out what they want to hear,” said Ball.

Read more about Ball and her music at marciaball.com or rosebudus.com/ball.