If there is one Los Angeles-based artist whom the LA music community has taken a profoundly healthy shine to (if not downright fallen in love with), it’s Lauren Ruth Ward. In the three short years since officially settling down in this City of Angels, the sheer force of her natures – musical, professional, social, personal – have shaped the Baltimore, MD native into something of a precious diamond among us. No matter how much rock n’ roll throwback sensed in her music, her lyrical persuasion is unabashedly progressive, thoughtful and sans bullshit. A self-proclaimed blue-collar sex kitten with a fierce bravado oddly on par with her humility and community consciousness and on Thursday, December 6th Ward is set to shine as only she can when she headlines the El Rey.
The El Rey show will be another gig to add, not as a proverbial notch on her retro hippie leather belt, but as another entry on the running written list of shows that she keeps by her hand. Another example of what has been some pretty damned impressive steady forward motion for Ward and the tribe of fellow artists/friends that she surrounds herself with and supports with the same open heart that she has been received with. As years go it’s been a busy one which kicked off with releasing her debut, full-length album, Well, Hell, in February – a buoyant and fearless record stacked with songs like “Did I Offend You?,” “Make Love To Myself,” and “Sideways” that shout her mind and dare you not to fall in love and in line with that mind. Since then, it’s been a case of putting one go-go boot in front of the other and that begs a couple of questions…
Q: You’ve had a busy 2018: What do you see as one of your most important professional milestones or accomplishments this year?
Lauren: “I’ve experienced a lot of newness this year especially when it comes to shows. Our residency in January at the Echo/Echoplex was such a feeling of self-pride and love for my community. Same feeling when we sold out the Troubadour in March. Playing L.A. Pride in June and getting to tour with Shaky Graves in July were HUGE goals on my list – still can’t believe that happened.
Newness as far as creating goes, Eduardo Rivera (my guitarist/collaborator) has grown beyond expectations with his production/recording skills. We reaped these benefits during the making of our seven song Doors cover EP we’re releasing on Jim Morrison’s 75th birthday December 8th called Happy Birthday Jim. Aside from some production ideas I contributed, recording drums (Grey Goon + Madi Vogt) and mixing (Matt Linesch), Ed recorded and produced the majority of the project. He made it come to life.
We’re going to continue to approach our next batch of tunes like this. It’s empowering to not have to outsource especially as an indie band.”
Q: Digging up one’s roots, moving them across the country and replanting them is never an easy life event and never without struggles, but with a bit over 3 years here you seem to have really embraced all of the change…and here we are heading for you headlining the El Rey. What are some things that have made your life and time here in LA truly feel like home?
Lauren: “For one, people like YOU. My first in-person interview was with you two-ish years ago across the street from the Hi Hat. I remember trusting you instantly (because you’re you) and because I’m a sharer, I told you some things off the record. The next day, I wasn’t sure if I had made a mistake being so open. I also wasn’t sure if I’d see you again. I had no idea how this all “works.” When I did see you again, I saw you two to five times a week because we go to the same shows! It made me realize that I was in a community of supporters who love music and that made me want to create and continue to play my part.”
That last bit was wholly unsolicited yet it’s safe to say that it speaks volumes about who Lauren Ruth Ward is it’s why we are here for her. Here for her music and talent, for her passion and determination, for the space that she makes for others, and for her commitment to making LA’s music community stronger by weaving herself into and through it. It’s no wonder that Los Angeles has claimed Lauren Ruth Ward….but in, in truth, she pretty much claimed us first.
Get your tickets HERE for Lauren Ruth Ward along with Valley Queen and Rhett Madison this Thursday, December 6th at the El Rey in Los Angeles.
Featured photo: Emery Becker