Lauren Ruth Ward (Bootleg Theater)

Bootleg Theater | Los Angeles, CA | September 29, 2017 | Photo Credit: Emery Becker |

Depending upon what time you entered Bootleg Theater, the room’s temperature was either temperate and comfortable or “I hope I put on enough deodorant”-hot because by the time Lauren Ruth Ward and her band of excellent were setting up and plugging in their gear, this oh-so-sold out record release show was wall to wall with local LRW lovers, as well as a handful of her most ardent fans from France who crossed a very big pond in order to be in the room and in the front row.

Well hell, indeed.

Well, Hell (Ward’s debut full-length album) was officially released on this day as Ward, Eddie Rivera (guitar), Liv Slingerland (bass) and India Pascucci (drums) banged out fan familiar songs like “Blue Collar Sex Kitten,” “Make Love To Myself,” “Do I Offend You?” and “Sheet Stains” (with Ward’s fiancé, LP, providing extra vocals just as she did on the album), album songs “Staff Only” and “Sideways” along with flexing here dynamic vocals all over a pretty tight cover medley (Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue” into The Black Crowes “Hard To Handle” into “Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman”). All of this action in front of a perfectly apropos psychedelic kaleidoscopic back drop (courtesy of Liquid Courage Light Show). As spitfire hot and commanding as her performance was, Ward never lost her sense of humble grace and  gratitude for all that her adopted Los Angeles home has given her in the form of fans, friends, support and community.

Before Ward’s set, Laura Jean Anderson was in usual fine form, and Vanessa Wheeler put on a damned solid showcase of her new project, VAVA (The Other Side EP due out on 10/26).

Lauren Ruth Ward

Laure Jean Anderson