Concert Review: Marcia Ball

Jan. 25, 2007 — Marcia Ball at the Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

At the invitation of Susan’s friend Donna, we met up with a large group at the Regattabar in Harvard Square’s posh Charles Hotel for a concert by Marcia Ball and her band. Self-described as honky tonk, Ball plays a mix of electric blues, cajun, and a lot of stuff that actually sounds like early rock & roll along the lines of Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, and Bill Haley. Each song left a lot of time for improvisation and solos by the guitarist, saxophonist, and Ball herself on piano. A highlight of the show was Marcia Balls’s performance of Randy Newman’s “Louisiana 1927”.

The Regattabar is an odd venue with high ceilings around the edge of the room and the performance space all but shoved in a corner under a low ceiling. We owe much praise to Donna for getting us excellent front row seats, but it is still a bit odd watching a show in this cavelike environment, albeit it is not as clausterphobic as Club Passim.

Susan and I felt the guitarist bore a stunning resemblance to our friend Mike G. Not just that he was a skinny guy with glasses, but als that the guitarist seemed to stand and have mannerisms in the way of Mike G. When we found out the guitarist was also named Mike we knew we couldn’t be fooled anymore by his simple disguise of a soul patch.

All in all it was a fun and entertaining show. The best part for me though was to see Donna so thouroughly enjoying herself, snapping her fingers, and singing along.

2 thoughts on “Concert Review: Marcia Ball

  1. The guitarist’s name is Mike Keller and apparently he is from North Dakota. A skinny white boy from the windy upper Midwest becomes a blues guitarist and moves to Louisiana with his brother who’s a drummer? There’s gotta be a good story there.


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