Marcia Ball and Lil’ Ed to perform in San Diego in May

Listen to this article


Alligator Records artists Marcia Ball and Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials will perform at the Gator By The Bay Festival in San Diego on Thursday, May 11 and Sunday, May 14, 2017, respectively. Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist/vocalist/songwriter Marcia Ball is touring in support of her latest Alligator Records CD, THE TATTOOED LADY AND THE ALLIGATOR MAN. Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials are touring in support of their latest Alligator CD, THE BIG SOUND OF LIL’ ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS.

Concert information is as follows:

Event: Gator By The Bay Festival
Venue: Spanish Landing Park
Address: 3900 N. Harbor Dr.
City: San Diego, CA
*See website for complete festival line-up and detailed ticket information

Date: Thursday, May 11, 2017
Stage: Kick-off concert on the KSDS Festival Stage
Ticket price: $30.00-$95.00
Showtime: 8:15pm

Date: Sunday, May 14, 2017
Stage: KSDS Festival Stage
Ticket price: $37.50-$200.00 / children 17 and under free with paid adult
Showtime: 4:30pm

“Rollicking roadhouse rave-ups and soulful Gulf Coast R&B.” –USA Today

Marcia Ball’s groove-laden New Orleans R&B, heart-wrenching ballads and driving Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite of music fans everywhere. Her music mixes equal parts simmering soul fervor and rollicking Crescent City piano. THE TATTOOED LADY AND THE ALLIGATOR MAN is her sixth release for Alligator. Four of her previous five releases received Grammy Award nominations. Ball received the 2014 Blues Music Award (BMA) for the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Of The Year. She has now won a total of 10 BMAs and has received a whopping 44 nominations. Ball recently received a 2015 Living Blues Readers’ Poll Award for Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard) and now holds eight Living Blues Awards in all. She was inducted into the Gulf Coast Hall of Fame in 2010 and into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

Marcia Ball has earned worldwide fame for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she strolls onto the stage. Her groove-laden New Orleans boogie, deeply soulful ballads and rollicking Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music fans all over the world.

On THE TATTOOED LADY AND THE ALLIGATOR MAN, Ball draws listeners deep into her music with instantly memorable melodies and imaginative imagery. Her songs paint vibrant musical pictures, richly detailed with characters, flavors and scenes straight out of Louisiana and Texas. With raucous horns punctuating Ball’s legendary piano pounding and emotional, melodic vocals, the new CD mixes Ball’s New Orleans R&B, swampy Louisiana ballads, and jumping, Tex-Mex flavored zydeco into a one-of-a-kind musical gumbo, a sound she has been perfecting over the course of her four-decade career.

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.” Living Blues declares, “Her originals sound like timeless classics and southern soul masterpieces that no one else can imitate.”

Li’l Ed and the Blues Imperials

“Rough and ready blues played with unmitigated intensity…Swirling, snarling, riveting slide….The Blues Imperials pound out riffs and rhythms like they’re overdosing on boogie juice. Scorching and soulful, joyous and stomping.” –Living Blues

Currently celebrating 27 history-making years together, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials ply their musical talents with skills that have been honed to a razor’s edge. Mixing smoking slide guitar boogies and raw-boned shuffles with the deepest slow-burners, Lil’ Ed Williams and his Blues Imperials — bassist (and Ed’s half-brother) James “Pookie” Young, guitarist Mike Garrett and drummer Kelly Littleton — deliver gloriously riotous, rollicking and intensely emotional blues.

THE BIG SOUND OF LIL’ ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS is musically electrifying, emotionally intense and downright fun. It features Lil’ Ed Williams’ incendiary guitar playing and soulful, passionate singing, with the ragged-but-right Blues Imperials cooking like mad alongside him. Produced by Williams and Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, it is a tour-de-force of authentic, deeply rooted Chicago blues. Williams wrote or co-wrote all but two of album’s 14 songs (those two being written by Lil’ Ed’s legendary uncle, Chicago slide guitar king and master songwriter J.B. Hutto).

They have played the Chicago Blues Festival multiple times, and have appeared at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Portland’s   Waterfront Blues Festival, The Tampa Bay Blues Festival, The San Diego Blues Festival, The Pennsylvania Blues  Festival and dozens of other festivals around the country. Satisfying worldwide demand, they have performed at festivals in Canada, Great Britain, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Japan, Australia, India, Turkey and Panama.

In 2013, 2012 and 2011, the band was awarded the Living Blues Award for Best Live Performer. The group won the coveted 2009 Blues Music Award for Band Of The Year, the same honor they received in 2007.

With THE BIG SOUND OF LIL’ ED & THE BLUES IMPERIALS (the group’s ninth Alligator release), the band continues to bring their blistering Chicago blues to “Ed Heads” new and old. After almost three decades, Lil’ Ed, Pookie, Mike and Kelly have seen sports stars and presidents, musical fads and fashion trends come and go. Meanwhile, their fiery music has more than stood the test of time. “We’re not band members,” says Williams, “we’re family, and families stay together.” Night after night, gig after riotous gig, the musical family called Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials bring their big, dynamic sound to fans across the country and around the world.

•••• •••• ••••• •••• ••••

UPDATE: Marcia Ball will also perform at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, Friday, May 12. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675.

Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are $20.

Photos from their Facebook pages