The odds were probably against Marcia Ball doing anything else. Raised on the Texas-Louisiana border in a music-friendly household, Ball’s encounter with the sounds of Professor Longhair, Irma Thomas and countless other R&B, Cajun, Creole, Tex-Mex and soul strains was a fairly safe bet. That she would fashion her own persona from these sources and become roots-music royalty herself is indisputable fact. While Ball could likely make the rent on her boogie-piano prowess alone, she has further sealed the deal as a standout vocalist, songsmith and onstage performer over three decades. Ball brought those border-town influences with her into the burgeoning Austin scene during the early ’70s, first recording a country record in 1978, then scoring major awards with a string of well-received albums in the ’80s and ’90s. Her studio work over the past decade has occasionally emphasized her singing and writing over her playing, and the lyric content has been a tad more reflective. Things sound a bit more balanced on 2008’s Peace, Love & BBQ, on which Ball, now 60, consorts with bayou masters like Dr. John, Wayne Toups and Terrance Simien. Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun open at 8 p.m. at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124). Tickets: $25. — Duane Verh
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