Photos and Review by LUIS MORENO
What I love about Jim Ward’s music is it’s a great blend of indie rock, alternative country, and Americana. But the other night at The Troubadour was just as much a celebration of El Paso, Texas, as it was for Ward’s newly released solo album, Daggers.
Ward’s music tends to appeal to a broad group, including a large Latino fan base, perhaps because he’s known for his work in Texas bands At The Drive-In, Sparta and Sleepercar. But his solo work was well-received at The Troubadour the other night and he puts on an energetic show.
The night was about Ward but his references to El Paso really kept this crowd motivated. At times throughout the show Ward would banter and engage with the fans, who clearly adore him.
Ward came out strong with the single “Day by Day” from Daggers. The song is about responsibility, kindness and not giving up, remembering to take life day by day. Ward then jumped all the way back to 2004 with “Breaking the Broken” from Sparta’s Porcelain album.
About halfway through his set Ward took it down a notch or two with “Lines in the Sand” another Sparta track from 2004. The song starts off with a mellow guitar echoing throughout with the drummer and bass slowly coming along for what seems like a stroll. The tempo then starts to pick up only to bring you back to nice conversation while you stroll. But fear not, the finish brings the listener back to the start.
In between songs, Ward took the time to photobomb two young guys taking selfies and the guys’ admiration for Ward seemed to jump 100 notches.
Ward finally reached the last song of the set and mentioned how he doesn’t do or like encores and proceeded to finish the evening with “King Yourself.” “King Yourself” is another song about taking responsibility and remembering that “You can King Yourself, But you’re first against the wall.”
The night was filled with just good indie rock, and plenty of people — from El Paso and Los Angeles — who showed up for Ward’s great performance and good music.