When I arrived at The Echo a little before Lauren Ruth Ward was set to take the stage at 10:30 PM, I expected a queue of people waiting to get in. What I didn’t expect was a line stretched at least 40 people deep, which is exactly what I stumbled into.
The Los Angeles-based, Baltimore-born rocker has made waves as one of the area’s up-and-coming talents — and there’s good reason why. Her voice calls to mind Janis Joplin at her best, with power to match, and a bit more folksy the way former California resident Lissie’s voice is.
Ward pulled out all the stops for her show, bringing to the stage many friends for collaborations. The one that stood out the most was her cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools”. Ward’s latest single “Sideways” was received with endless cheers, and the video that dropped a week ago is a good representation of what you get with her music. Her songwriting is brash and brazen and makes no apologies.
After playing a relentless amount of shows in LA, it seems Lauren Ruth Ward is starting to get the shine she deserves. A few days after her packed-house Echo gig, she was profiled in the Los Angeles Times. She drops her new album Well, Hell on February 9 and is on the GIRL SCHOOL 2018 lineup as well. Check her out when you get a chance.
Lauren Ruth Ward’s shows were so packed that her residency gigs on January 22 and January 29 have now been moved to the Echoplex!
I also was able to catch All Things Blue, another Los Angeles-based but East Coast-bred. It’s a pop outfit with a psychedelic twist, and singer India Coombs gave an excellent take on Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights”, no easy song for a singer to tackle.
Photos by Jacqui Gaball