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Blues artist Marcia Ball to be in region ahead of Hall honor

Boogie-woogie swamp blues queen Marcia Ball — who performs in three Ohio cities next week and July 2 at The Ark in Ann Arbor in support of her new album, Shine Bright — will be inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame on Oct. 25 with Tex-Mex supergroup Los Lobos and the late, great pianist-singer-songwriter Ray Charles.

Previous inductees include Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Bonnie Raitt, the Neville Brothers, Roy Orbison, Flaco Jimene, Asleep At The Wheel, Rosanne Cash, Loretta Lynn, Kris Kristofferson, and Townes Van Zandt.

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Ball

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The ceremony will be hosted by Chris Isaak. Musical highlights and inductions will air nationally on PBS during a special New Year’s Eve broadcast of Austin City Limits.

Ball, a Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist, songwriter, and vocalist, is the official 2018 Texas State Musician. Guests for the induction program are to include two of Ball’s musical mentors, singers Irma Thomas and Tracy Nelson, both of whom appeared with her on a critically acclaimed 1998 album called Sing It!

Her Ohio shows are Tuesday through Thursday, respectively, at the Woodward Theater in Cincinnati; Natalies in Worthington, north of Columbus, and the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland.

She has performed in Ann Arbor at least once a year for many years. Her latest album, her 16th, is produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, who also performs as saxophonist on five tracks.

Los Lobos, which hails from East Los Angeles, has released 25 albums, won multiple Grammys, and has been together 45 years. Its lead songwriting duo of David Hidalgo and Louie Perez is one of the longest-running and most famous in rock history. It plays a unique mix of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, rhythm & blues, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music.

The group has toured with Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, and U2. It toured last summer with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, including a concert at the DTE Energy Music Theatre north of Detroit. Its current tour included a stop Friday in Kalamazoo and on Saturday in Thornville, Ohio, east of Columbus.

The legendary Charles was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

The Georgia native has been enshrined with a star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame, and has received many of the music industry’s highest honors, as well as eight honorary doctoral degrees, 17 Grammys, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the President’s Merit Award and Playboy awards. Several presidents, premiers, other heads of state, political dignitaries, members of royal families, and heads of state have honored him.

He died on June 10, 2004.

The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame was created in 2014 to recognize some of the acts that have appeared on the iconic television show that began back on Oct. 17, 1974. Shown weekly on PBS, Austin City Limits is now the longest-running music program in television history and is the only TV show to have been awarded the Presidential Medal of the Arts.

Contact Tom Henry at thenry@theblade.com, 419-724-6079, or via Twitter @ecowriterohio.

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