Rock legend performs at Comma tonight |

Rock legend performs at Comma tonight

Sam Bauman
Appeal staff writer

Rocker Alice Stuart is coming to Comma Coffee at 7 tonight, with doors opening at 6. So who’s Alice Stuart? Only one of the true pioneers of rock – and still pioneering. Her face may be touched with age, but her voice and fingers are agile as ever.

Stuart blazed the trail for women in rock ‘n’ roll as one of the only females in the country to write her own music, front a male band. and play lead guitar on national and international circuits during the 1970s. Blues Hall of Fame inductee Dick Waterman once remarked, “There would be no Bonnie Raitt without Alice Stuart.”

In 1966, Stuart joined forces with Frank Zappa during the formation of the Mothers of Invention. She also played with Jerry Garcia and Van Morrison. Two of Alice’s songs from “Can’t Find No Heaven” were included on “Blues Guitar Women,” released by Ruf Records in 2005.

Tickets are $18. Get them at Comma Coffee or at Call 220-0995.

Hold everything!

They’ve added an extra performance of “Forever Plaid” at the community college, at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Marlette Hall. Director Stephanie Arrigotti called to say that they are sold out for all other shows, and the only way to accommodate requests was to add one. Call 445-4249; there may be a few tickets left.

Marcia Ball on parade

I received a CD “Down the Road” by pianist-singer Marcia Ball in the mail a few weeks ago. I played it recently and greatly enjoyed her barrelhouse-blues playing. She’s a real shouter, and she’s going to play in Sparks at John Ascuaga’s Nugget on April 15.

Ball honed her powerful singing and joyous keyboard chops while growing up in the small town of Vinton, La., on the Texas border. That musical and cultural frontier has produced such other roots-music greats as Gatemouth Brown, George Jones, Janis Joplin and more. It was and still is a hotbed of country, blues, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, rockabilly and Gulf Coast “swamp pop.”

Ball’s been making albums for a good number of years, and I’m hoping some come my way. In addition to her critically acclaimed Rounder albums (“Soulful Dress,” “Hot Tamale Baby,” “Let Me Play with Your Poodle”), Ball also found time to collaborate with Angela Strehli and Lou Ann Barton on a well-received album for the Antone’s label called “Dreams Come True.”

Ball will sing and play piano 8 p.m. April 15 in the Celebrity Showroom. Tickets are $25 (a bargain) at (800) 648-1177 or 356-3300 or by visiting

From the vaults

Debbie Reynolds’ recent appearance at the Sparks Nugget inspired a check through old VCR tapes for “Singing in the Rain.” After viewing it again (for maybe the 10th time), it still stands as the best musical Hollywood ever produced. Gene Kelly was at his dancing best, and Donald O’Connor his wittiest. And Debbie just a delight – cute, perky and able to keep up with her two partners. Yes, you’ve seen it, but see it again to remember how fine it is.

Another vehicle for “Run, Lola, Run” star Franka Potente surfaced, this one a sort of thriller, “Anatomy.” It’s all about Potente as a medical student who stumbles on a plot by doctors at Heidelberg to do anything to get their hands on a nice corpse. She’s excellent, as usual, and Germany never looked better. Yeah, it has subtitles, but they are brief and to the point. Not a big winner, but Potente is something special.

• Contact Sam Bauman at or 881-1236.