Lowell Summer Music Series officials continue to fill out their 2014 lineup with this week's announcement that blues singer and pianist Marcia Ball, who last played here in 2010, will be returning to Boarding House Park on Friday, Aug. 8, at 7:30 p.m.
After more than 40 years in the music business, the 60-something, Texas-born Ball has mastered her unique blend of New Orleans boogie with Gulf Coast blues.
While she was born in Orange, Texas, she grew up in the small town of Vinton, La., right across the Texas state line. Taking piano lessons at the age of five, she first learned how to play Tin Pan Alley tunes from her grandmother's collection.
After attending Louisiana State University, she planned to move to San Francisco in 1970, but her car broke down in Austin, Texas, and she decided to stick around. She launched a solo career that carried her through six critically acclaimed albums on the iconic Rounder Records label in the 1980s and 1990s. Her 1998 album, Sing It!, earned a Grammy nomination for best contemporary blues album.
A year later, she appeared in a nationally televised PBS special, In Performance at the White House, with B.B. King and Della Reese. She also appeared on Austin City Limits and NPR's Fresh Air.
In the past decade, she's made more appearances on Austin City Limits as well as the Late Show with David Letterman.
When Ball comes to Lowell, it should be a fun show on a hot, summer night. Marcia Ball performs at Boarding House Park on Friday, Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 on the day of the concert and can be purchased at lowellsummermusic.org.