ZZ Ward didn’t have to look far for inspiration on her second full-length album, 2017’s The Storm. Equally evocative of blues grit and hip-hop bounce, the Los Angeles-based vocal powerhouse and multi-instrumentalist leapt forward by taking a deeper look at some of her earliest inspirations—including Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson, Vera Ward Hall, and Big Mama Thornton.
“For me, this album wasn’t really about experimenting,” she admits. “It was more about simplicity, honing in on what I love about music and what makes me who I am as an artist. Growing up, I listened to a lot of hip-hop and blues, and I love those two genres so much. Sometimes, to evolve you don’t need to go outside of yourself; you can reach further inside of yourself instead.”
It’s a realization earned over a whirlwind five years. The Fedora-rocking, guitar-shredding, harmonica-wielding blues siren peppered an old back-porch musical recipe with hip-hop urgency. The young artist has been featured in Rolling Stone, Guitar World, and Elle magazines, appeared on NPR, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan, The Tonight Show, and Good Morning America, and has taken the world by storm as she toured with major acts like Eric Clapton and Gary Clark Jr.
ZZ Ward, returns to Portland for a performance at Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark Street, on Thursday, July 13. This is an all ages show starting at 8:00. General admission tickets are $25.00 both in advance through TicketFly.com and at the door day of show.