rockountry

Mirror (Thip)
Diane Ward

By Kory Wilcoxson

Imagine crossing the gruffness of Melissa Etheridge with a spunky country crooner like Shania Twain. That's about as close as you'll get to Diane Ward.

Her sound is fresh and energetic, and her similarities to Etheridge grows as the disc spins. She crafts tight, rocking tunes that showcase her vocal talents and guitar prowess, and she knows how to deliver with intensity and conviction.

Where she goes beyond Etheridge is in her ability to deftly handle the ballads. While Etheridge tends to add an edge to everything, Ward shows a softer touch, as on "Hey Joe" and "Now is the Hush." It is on these songs that her country influences play through, begging a comparison to solid singer/songwriters such as Mary-Chapin Carpenter. Her ability to play to both the rock and country crowds is her best asset.