So Many Rivers
First Appeared at The Music Box, June 2003, Volume 10, #6
Written by John Metzger
Marcia Ball is an exquisite vocalist and an astonishing pianist with a style that follows closely in the footsteps of the legendary Professor Longhair. Thereís no question that her music is best suited for the roadhouse bars and smoky alehouses she tends to frequent; itís there that she methodically wins over her fans one at a time, connecting with them via rousing, high-energy performances. Unfortunately, Ball frequently has failed to capture this magic within the confines of a recording studio, and So Many Rivers, her latest effort, continues this string of near-misses. Nevertheless, with each outing, Ball does seem to be getting closer and closer to that elusive perfect album. Indeed, So Many Rivers features quite a few undeniable gems, such as rollicking, horn-splashed Foreclose on the House of Love, the groovy shimmy of Dance with Me, the zydeco whirl of Honeypie, the heartfelt emotional outpouring of The Storm, the uplifting gospel of If It Ainít One Thing, and the steamy blues of Didnít You Know. As for the rest of the disc, Ball delivers a solid set of New Orleans-flavored boogie that, while quite good, leaves one wondering how much more invigorated the songs will become in a concert setting. Ĺ
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box