Kristen Ward is a Seattle-based singer-songwriter who released her third studio album Charles on April 6 and will be playing a pair of CD release shows this weekend. The first CD release show for Charles will be on Friday April 9 at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle, and then the next night, Ward and her band will be playing in Portland at the White Eagle.
Produced by Brad Zeffren and Ward (her first time producing), Charles was recorded in a 1970s-esque apartment. “We wanted to do something really different,” Ward said in her press release. “And that’s what we got, a much more intimate record.” Ward is once again joined by her right-hand man, writing partner and Seattle guitar extraordinaire Gary Westlake. The two combined to play all the instruments save for the trumpet solo by Billy Joe Huels (The Dusty 45′s.)
“The album is a product of my life and could be properly expressed through the very close musical connection I share with Gary,” Ward said. “Gary and I worked on some of those songs for months – some for years.” Charles is the follow up to Ward’s phenomenal 2008 release Drive Away and with this third release, Ward, along with Westlake, incorporates a more alt-country feel thanks in part to varied string instruments like the acoustic and electric gutiar and mandolin. The songs shine brightly up and down the track selection with Ward singing more confident than ever. I don’t know if the album is titled after a person named Charles or what, but whatever the case, the inspiration has made Kirsten Ward shimmer and sparkle on this magnificently intimate release.
Troy Michael – Innocent Words, April 8, 2010