News

Marcia Ball To Be Inducted Into Austin City Limits Hall Of Fame

[05/15/2018]
Fifth Anniversary Class Also Includes Los Lobos And Ray Charles


“Rollicking, playful, good-time blues and intimate, reflective balladry...her songs ring with emotional depth.”

–Rolling Stone

 Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist, songwriter and vocalist -- and official 2018 Texas State Musician -- Marcia Ball will be inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall Of Fame on October 25, 2018. This will be the fifth anniversary class of Hall Of Fame inductees, which also includes Los Lobos and Ray Charles. Previous inductees include Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt, Asleep At The Wheel, Loretta Lynn, Townes Van Zandt and others.

The ceremony will be hosted by Chris Isaak and will take place in Austin, Texas at ACL Live At The Moody Theater. Guests announced so far include Dan Auerbach, Irma Thomas and Tracy Nelson. Musical highlights and inductions from the ceremony will air nationally on PBS in a special New Year's Eve broadcast of Austin City Limits.

According to Ball, this is among the biggest honors of her 50-year career. "Austin City Limits put Austin on the map all over the country. Whenever we are touring, when I say where we are from, the immediate response from our fans is, 'Austin City Limits.' People in outlying towns would drive to major cities, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Atlanta, because they had seen us on the show. In the years when my broadcasts were current, I could have filled a 90 minute tape with the words, 'I never heard of you before, but I saw you on Austin City Limits.' ACL opened the door into millions of homes for us and other regional bands. Some of my most memorable musical moments have been as a performer or in the audience at an Austin City Limits show.  I was always honored to be asked to play ACL and I am thrilled and grateful to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame."

Currently celebrating 50 years as a professional musician, Ball has won worldwide fame and countless fans for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she takes the stage. Her rollicking Texas boogies, swampy New Orleans ballads and groove-laden Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music lovers all over the world. The New York Times says, “Marcia Ball plays two-fisted New Orleans barrelhouse piano and sings in a husky, knowing voice about all the trouble men and women can get into on the way to a good time.”

With 2018 release, Shine Bright, Ball set out to, in her words, “Make the best Marcia Ball record I could make.” In doing so, she has put together the most musically substantial, hopeful and uplifting set of songs of her five-decade career. Produced by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) and recorded in Texas and Louisiana, Shine Bright contains twelve songs, including nine originals. “It is a ridiculously hopeful, cheerful record,” she says, in light of some of the album’s more serious subject matter. The secret, according to Ball, “is to set the political songs to a good dance beat.”


Born in Orange, Texas in 1949 to a family whose female members all played piano, Ball grew up in the small town of Vinton, Louisiana, right across the border from Texas. Seeing an Irma Thomas performance in 1962 and falling under the spell of Professor Longhair's piano playing convinced Ball to seek out a career in music. She led a couple of early psychedelic country rock bands before pursuing her solo career from her adopted hometown of Austin, Texas.

After her 1978 Capitol Records debut, Circuit Queen, and a series of successful albums on Rounder Records, Ball joined Alligator in 2001 with the release of the critically acclaimed Presumed Innocent, the first of her six releases for the label, four of which have been Grammy nominated. Altogether she holds ten Blues Music Awards, ten Living Blues Awards, and five Grammy Award nominations. She has been inducted into both the Gulf Coast Music Hall Of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame. The Texas State legislature named her the official 2018 Texas State Musician. According to The Houston Chronicle, “Marcia Ball’s brand of blues lifts the spirit. She’s as perfect an artist as could be."