Diane Ward’s latest album, “Beautiful Ways” is vibrant, focused, forward-looking, and soaring.
People familiar with Diane’s long reign as one of Florida’s most lauded singer-songwriters aren’t that surprised. Year after year, she has been unstoppable and consistent in her craft. As different as all of her 5 albums are, they share the same fastidious dedication to quality. Songs that are are both deep and catchy. Lyrics that are personal without being self-serving. Self-examining with humility, not self-absorption.
Ultimately, while it’s the songs that matter most, it helps to have a voice that literally sears into the hearts of her audiences.
Diane’s voice is the Hanzo sword of her genre – a weapon that can at times seem delicate and beautiful – and at other times can incomparably cut through a song. On the title track, “Beautiful Ways”, her voice sounds vital and pure, despite her mild, distinctive rasp. In the chorus of “Satellite”, when she says “damn”, it hits you like a punch.
“Beautiful Ways” – as triumphant as it is – is not without its moments of uncertainty. At the beginning of “Motorcade”, Diane’s voice is soft and inviting as it builds to the refrain “everything will be all right, a change could do us good” – posed as much as a question as a statement. When she sings “smile” in “Georgia Rain”, you can hear she’s not smiling. “Sobering Days” and “Down to the Floor” have the listener swimming in the human condition – observing love and life from the outside.
Sung by another singer, with lesser arrangements, some of these songs might have come across quite a bit darker. But the conviction and authenticity of her delivery, and the ever-building arrangements give even the darker songs a fighting edge and palpable optimism.
Co-produced and recorded by her longtime guitarist Jack Shawde, masterfully mixed by John Merchant (Mika, Celine Dion, Bee Gees, Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, & Lenny Kravitz), and mastered by Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering Studios (Nirvana, Madonna, Foo Fighters, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Incubus, Nine Inch Nails, Sarah McLachlan, & Rascal Flatts), Diane’s voice is given its rightful prominence over textures of guitars, pianos, percussion and even a flugelhorn. The production and sound quality of “Beautiful Ways” are gorgeous.
Throughout her long career, Diane’s songs have been placed in television and films; and have been played on countless radio stations. One song charting at number one & another in the top 10 on Sirius radio. She’s won numerous awards and recognition for her songwriter and vocals. These achievements along with touring throughout the US have built Diane a devoted nationwide following far outside of her hometown of Hollywood, Florida.
Coming up: Diane is in pre-production and gearing up to record her 6th album which will be another co-production & creative endeavor with Jack Shawde. She has also signed with AbFab Artists and collaborating with songwriters from all over the world. Stay tuned!
Buy Diane’s music at cdbaby.com/all/dianeward and itunes.com
“Beautiful Ways is a fearlessly joyful 10-song collection…”
– SUN SENTINEL – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
“As a showcase for everything that makes Diane Ward so special, this record [Beautiful Ways] is a gem that should not escape your attention. It is a triumphant and emotive collection of songs that will answer the question: “Where have all the great singer-songwriters gone?” Before you lament the poor state of popular music, make sure you check out Beautiful Ways to have your faith refreshed and restored!”
– KEYBOARD MAGAZINE
“She’s gentle, strong, poignant; her own story will move you — so will her music.”
– Music News Nashville
“BEAUTIFUL WAYS: TOP 10 LOCAL ALBUMS OF 2014 – Beginning with the soaring confidence of the jazzy title track, the many joys to be found in this 10-song collection are made all the more remarkable with the knowledge that much of it was created, over an extended period of time, while veteran singer-songwriter Ward was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. With help from longtime friend Jack Shawde and mixer extraordinaire John Merchant, Ward has produced an irresistible compilation of stories about longing, love, and life.”
– Ben Crandell, Sun Sentinel
“One of the most compelling live performers in Florida today. Period.”
– Focus Magazine – Tampa, FL
“What do you get when you blend the power of Melissa Etheridge’s voice with the beauty of k.d. lang’s? Two words: Diane Ward. This singer/songwriter powerhouse has been long under-recognized for her soulful voice and strike-to-the-heart lyrics.”
– Skott Freedman – BiMagazine
“VOTED BEST ROCK VOCALIST
Blessed with a conscience and a voice like honey in a blender, Ward always finds a way to sweeten her woeful lyrics while stirring up those themes that deserve the whirring blade treatment. Her gift has made the Miami native a regional attraction…” – Miami New Times – Miami, FL
VOTED BEST SONGWRITER
“ – On her latest CD, Wonderlight, Ward pens tunes that are so damn hummable you’ll find yourself whistling the choruses while standing in line at Publix…” – City Link Magazine – Ft. Lauderdale, FL