Marcia Ball

So Many Rivers

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Marcia Ball's strong western Louisiana, eastern Texas roots run strongly through So Many Rivers, and she has increased the range she covers. Solid in the foundation of her piano playing and phrasing, she is rooted rock-solid to the rhythms by the drumming of Tom Fillman and the bass of both Don Bennett and Yoggie Musgrove. There is also the production work of Stephen Bruton, who also added his otherworldly guitar work to the mix. Marcia Ball's voice has only gotten finer with the passage of time, and the collaborations with Irma Thomas and Tracy Nelson have also added a lot of potency to her voice and handling of a song. She has assembled a crack group of musicians here that gives her freedom to take those chances that make So Many Rivers stand out from the crowd. The six songs she wrote are among the standouts here. The slow-building strength of "The Storm" and the power and grit in "Give Me a Chance" add depth to this collection. She does a great job with putting some bounce into others' tunes ("Honeypie"). This is a standout from this queen of the gatorhythms that bring the swamp alive.

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