It’s one of those weekends in ILM wherein there’s so much live music there’s really something for everyone. It starts with blues-inspired rock-pop artist ZZ Ward on Friday night at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. GLA also will host Michael Franti & Spearhead both Saturday and Sunday, while Old Crow Medicine Show has top billing along the Cape Fear River at Pier 33 on Saturday.
ZZ Ward recently covered Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down a Dream” for NASCAR, and has been on the summer festival circuit with “The Storm,” released in June 2017.
encore snagged Ward for a quick Q&A before her show at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater this Friday night.
encore (e): Tell us about music in your family—with your father being a bluesman, do you remember always expressing interest in his work and/or this genre?
ZZ Ward (ZW): My father was always a huge influence on me. I was always a “daddy’s girl,” so I would go with him when he’d go to band rehearsals and shows. The blues was always the music of choice in our household always playing at dinners and at night, I think it just became a part of my life.
e: You’ve talked about the music that influenced you growing up—what about now?
ZW: Lately I find myself really inspired by honesty in music. I think there is something so precious about an artist capturing and sharing a moment of their lives with us.
There is so much music out there now and that’s something that really stands out to me.
e: Since “The Storm” came out in 2017, are you continuing to uncover new nuances with these songs on the live stage?
ZW: My favorite part of touring has always been watching my songs become a part of other people’s lives. Songwriting has always been my therapy, my way to express what I feel inside. It’s a very special thing to see those moments become that for someone you’ve maybe never even met.
e: Are you working on a new project/collection of songs? If so, please tell us as much as you can!
ZW: Yes, I’m starting to write for my next album. I’m feeling inspired!
e: Tell us about your sets these days, can Wilmingtonians expect a good mix of music from “The Storm,” as well as favorite covers and/or new songs not yet recorded?
ZW: At this point in my career I have a lot of songs! So the set is a nice little mix of songs from the first and second album.
e: Per future work, do you envision continuing to develop your music by infusing rock-pop-blues sounds or are there aspirations to go in other directions?
ZW: The most important thing to me is to be authentic in my word. The rest just shapes itself, that’s the beauty of music to me.
e: Anything else you’d like to add about your current tour or upcoming show here in Wilmington, NC?
ZW: Come see us and forget about your troubles for an hour and a half.