Pianist Marcia Ball has made the move from Rounder Records to Alligator, and her debut for Bruce Iglauer's label is a stellar collection of R&B and blues tunes that will remind the world emphatica

Pianist Marcia Ball has made the move from Rounder Records to Alligator, and her debut for Bruce Iglauer's label is a stellar collection of R&B and blues tunes that will remind the world emphatically that Ball is a formidable musical force. Ball has been long revered for her keyboard prowess and good-time music. Presumed Innocent provides a somewhat different perspective on her talent, though, as it is clearly her best vocal performance to date. For verification, study her moving stylings on "I Have a Right to Know," "Let the Tears Roll Down," and the classic slow-dance nugget, "She's So Innocent," one of Ball's originals. The album has its rowdy moments, to be sure, and none are sweeter than "Thibodaux, Louisiana" (with Sonny Landreth on guitar) and the estimable boogie of "Louella." The overall vibe of Presumed Innocent strikes a fine balance between polished performance and true grit, capturing the totality of Marcia Ball like no previous album.—PVV

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