In a remarkable career spanning 50 years, Marcia Ball—the official 2018 Texas State Musician— has earned worldwide fame and countless fans for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she takes the stage. Her rollicking Texas boogies, swampy New Orleans ballads and groove-laden Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music lovers all over the world. Born in Orange, Texas and raised across the border in Vinton, Louisiana, Ball began piano lessons at age 5, falling under the spell of blues and soul music at 13 after witnessing a performance by New Orleans great Irma Thomas. Moving to Austin in 1970, Ball led progressive country band Freda and the Firedogs until 1974, when she began her solo career. Debuting on Austin City Limits during the first season in 1976, Ball has gone on to appear on the show three more times, and has released sixteen albums (including 1998’s Grammy-nominated Sing It! with fellow blues/soul enthusiast Tracy Nelson and inspiration Irma Thomas). Ball has won 10 Blues Music Awards, 10 Living Blues Awards, and is a five-time Grammy nominee. Her love of the road has led to gigs from roadhouses to the White House, and the living legend shows no signs of slowing down, releasing her seventeenth album in 2018, the critically-acclaimed Shine Bright (produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin).
Singer, songwriter, pianist, producer and visionary, Ray Charles is one of the most important and influential musicians in American history. In five decades of recording, the music of the man nicknamed the Genius encompassed blues, jazz, R&B, country & western, pop and every permutation in between. His landmark 1954 single “I’ve Got a Woman” combined elements of gospel, jazz and blues to create what we now call soul. His list of hits is seemingly endless - “What’d I Say?,” “Hit the Road Jack,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Georgia On My Mind,” “Busted,” “Drown In My Own Tears,” “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” “Let’s Go Get Stoned” and his immortal version of “America the Beautiful” are merely the tip of the iceberg. Albums like Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Genius Loves Company, True to Life and The Genius Sings the Blues are considered classics. With multiple Grammys, an Oscar-winning biopic (Ray, starring Jamie Foxx), millions of records sold and everyone from Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin and Van Morrison to James Taylor, Billy Joel and Norah Jones citing him as an inspiration, Charles is one of the titans of American song. His 1980 appearance on Austin City Limits helped break the show’s talent roster wide open, and his 1984 episode has become equally lauded. Fourteen years after his death, Ray Charles remains a musical icon.
One of America’s great bands, Los Lobos have carved out their own distinctive space in a career that’s spanned over 40 years. Formed by David Hidalgo, Louis Perez, Cesar Rosas and Conrad Lozano in the early seventies in East Los Angeles, the band started out playing rock & roll, before transitioning to traditional Mexican cumbia, norteña and corridos. The postpunk explosion in L.A. encouraged them to shift back to rock while retaining their Mexican-American heritage, giving them a unique sound in the American underground. With the addition of multi-instrumentalist/producer Steve Berlin, Los Lobos released a steady stream of LPs now considered classics, including 1985’s How Will the Wolf Survive, 1992’s Kiko and 2006’s The Town and the City, and scored a number one hit with its 1987 cover of Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba.” The band’s wide-ranging musical vision and dedication to expanding their craft has earned widespread acclaim, with over 20 albums, three Grammy Awards and tours with Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead and U2. Los Lobos has brought catalog favorites like “Don’t Worry, Baby,” “One Time, One Night,” “La Pistola y El Corazon” and “Mas y Mas” to the ACL stage six times starting in Season 14, including five headlining slots and as part of the Season 24 Mexican Roots Music Celebration show.
ACL Live at The Moody Theater
310 W Willie Nelson Blvd, Austin, TX 78701
Doors: 6:30 pm | Show: 7:30 pm
VIP Party Begins at 6:00 pm
Attire: Austin Casual
Ascension Health | Cirrus Logic | Tracey & Bill Marshall | RetailMeNot | T3 | Susan & Anthony Wood | Mary & Howard Yancy
Asian American Cultural Center | Julianne & Bill Brackin | Brenda Freed & Michael D'Eath | The Floyd Family | Hampton @ The University | Jordan Herman / Melanie McElroy (Taurus) | Nancy & Bob Inman | Britt & Jan Lindelow | Linda & Howard McCollum | Kim & Matt McManus | Maya Browne & Laurence Pels | Catherine L. Robb | Spectrum Lighting Inc., Austin | Bruce Stuckman, Ph.D. | Margot & Grant Thomas | Wealth Advisory Services of Raymond James | YETI