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How you carry on!

In honor of International Women’s Day: something so hot it sizzles, from my idea of what a real woman really is: Texiz-born, Loozyanner-raised Austin legend Long Tall Marcia Ball.

Marcia’s slashing keyboard attack, all with that leg casually swinging to the beat, is plenty enough to make this tune soar. But (surprise surprise!) it’s the guitar solo that really sends me, for a reason none but a fellow picker will understand. Watch carefully: the guitarist (a fella yclept James Hinkle, no slacker his own self where o-fficial Texas Legend™ status is concerned) goes twice around with the solo, as everybody including he himself would expect. Then Marcia unexpectedly lays back to let him take a third go. As you’ll notice, he’d already gone back to playing rhythm for a few bars before realizing the boss-lady, rather than going into the next verse, had decided to give him his head—on live TV, no less.

In obvious flustercation, James dithers and mumbles uncomfortably for a cpl-three bars before regaining his equilibrium to light back into the festivities with a real vengeance, uncorking what turns out to be far and away the highlight of the evening. The ACL audience, bless their wise and experienced hearts, reacts to the improv-a-ganza they had just witnessed with raucous delight, whereupon Marcia grins hugely and salutes Hinkle’s triumph with a shot from the ol’ finger gun.

Oh, this hyar is definitely A Moment alright—one that every professional player lives and breathes for. In fact, it’s exactly the kind of indescribable feeling that drives those lucky enough to experience it to commit the completely unnatural act of climbing onto a stage in the first place and keeps us coming back again and again, looking for more of the same. You don’t get it all that often, unless maybe you’re Stevie Ray Vaughan or some other one-in-a-million talent. But I promise you with all my heart and soul, people: you feel that thrill just one time and you will be hooked forever. It is NOT the kind of thing you ever get over, at least for some of us.

Nope, you’ll cheerfully spend the rest of your life chasing another taste of that glorious high, thereby condemning yourself to a life of poverty and bitter travail, in most cases, without a trace of regret. In fact, I remember years ago hearing an interview with Dave Edmunds wherein he said pretty much the same thing with only slightly different wording, probably because of him being a Welshman and all. I wish I could dig that interview up now that I’ve gone and reminded myself of it, but I’m confident there’s no chance of that and I ain’t gonna bother looking.

Anyways, y’all enjoy yourselves an encore jolt of Marcia & Krewe, doing another rollicking little number whose lyrics I especially like.

And to think there are those who insist girls can’t rock. Clearly the poor dears don’t know Marcia Ball well enough, thus are more to be pitied than censured.

Update! I should maybe point this out before someone waxes all indignant in the comments over it: yes, I was already aware of the Commie origins of International Women’s Day. I was only using that as an excuse for putting Marcia up, that’s all. Honestly, I’m amazed I never had her up here before now, and can offer no excuse for that unforgivable lapse.

5 thoughts on “How you carry on!

  1. I could listen to a band like that all night long if they kept playing.

    Leaving the theme slightly, Little Feat with Billy Payne ain’t shabby either. I saw them at Jones Beach Theater when they had Shaun Murphy as co-lead singer. Man, could she belt out a tune.

    International Women’s Day indeed!

    1. Watching her play the piano reminds me of someone else, a male. But I can’t quite place them…

      My wife knows instantly – Jerry Lee Lewis

      1. Jerry Lee, Little Richard, even Fats Domino all could play that style. Southern and specifically N’awleans style.

        Throw Dr. John and Professor Longhair in the mix.

        Believe it or not Jim Croce’s (Bad Bad Leroy Brown) son AJ Croce could play amazing piano in this style as well. Check out his Fit To Serve album.

        Billy Powell of Lynyrd Skynyrd could also play it bluesy like that as well.

        1. Thanks, I recall seeing a couple of those and you are right. The one that came to my musically limited mind was Lewis.

          There are some things I cannot do, that I would like to be able to do. Playing the piano like that is one of them.

          1. Actually, now that I looked it up, it turns out the first video Mike posted is actually a Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) written song.

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