All songs written by Diane Ward. © All rights reserved.
*Unloving Game written by Diane Ward & Wendy McDowell
**Tongue Tied written by Diane Ward & Brian Franklin
***Messed Up written by Diane Ward, Jonelle Raspa & Jim Baumann
Produced: by Jack Shawde & Diane Ward
Mixed by: John Merchant
Mastered by: Bob Ludwig
Engineered by: Jeremy duBois & Jack Shawde
Diane Ward – Lead and Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Programming
Jack Shawde – Electric Lead & Rhythm Guitars (includes: E-Bow, Lap Steel, Slide, Baritone, Mando, Wah Wah), Acoustic Guitars, Programming
Debbie Duke – Bass
Howard Goldberg – Drums
Stephanie Callahan – Backing Vocals
Debbie Hunseder – Backing Vocals
Brian Franklin – Backing Vocals
Billy Livesay – Backing Vocals
Matthew Sabatella – Backing Vocals
Artwork: Imagine Media Concepts
Photography: Scott Teitler
It’s all there in Diane Ward’s impressive CD Wonderlight. There’s the impeccable production team of Diane and Jack Shawde, the great musicianship of the band and featured guests, as well as the superstar credentials of mixologist John Merchant (Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion) and legendary mastering guru Bob Ludwig (Sheryl Crow, Shawn Colvin). With Wonderlight, Ward’s celebrated vocals have developed more depth and purpose, and the melodies settle in the cortex and cannot be shaken. But above all it is the songwriting, the majesty of the lyrics, and the passion for life’s truths that take hold of our spirits as we bathe in the Wonderlight.
The mood has shifted here from Diane’s previous album, the critically acclaimed, The Great Impossible. While Impossible speaks of the restless spirit fighting to maintain its purpose, in Wonderlight we discover the seeds of hope and the emergence of redemption. As Diane explains, “There is the sense that society has not completely drained us of our innocence... not completely numbed us to those things that get us up in the morning and bring meaning to our lives.” No Diane Ward album is complete without love songs peopled by characters that careen in and out of relationships. From This Love is Hard where the main character laments, “And there’s no avoiding feeling the crush when you’re laid out under the wheel”, to the exquisite Passion Field where “The bar’s all sticky and damp with hearts hanging on the edge of a worn out jukebox ...”, Diane takes us through the myriad of feelings that surround this elusive emotion.
Finally, there is the matter of her exceptional voice. Music journalist Greg Baker recounts his visit to a recording session of Diane’s previous album, The Great Impossible ... “the sounds coming from the (recording) booth on this summer night – ghostly, pitch perfect, tough and fragile at once – boggle.” Numerous Best Female Vocalist awards attest to the special gift that has helped catapult Diane’s career into the national spotlight.
“Trampoline Hero charts at #1!”— on Sirius Satellite Radio / The Out Q Channel
Best Songwriter - awarded by City Link Magazine, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
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. The presidential elections, heightened hurricane activity and the war in Iraq have all been on the Hollywood-based singer-songwriter's mind, contributing to the jumble of emotions expressed on Wonderlight. "I can't stop the war/I can't stop thinking about the ruin," she sings on Messed Up, which was written with old friends Jim Baumann and Jonelle Raspa. The politics of love is also described in This Love Is Hard: "We held it out in the wide open, and it blazed a path to ruin/Now, your best friend is a song on the radio, and I'm holding hands with my lover the moon." Yet even with all the turmoil of the past few years, Ward remains hopeful. Heed her advice on the lovely, waltz-time rocker Julie: "And if you're somewhere on the freeway and you can't see to the end/Julie, pool your heart and just glide … Everything is gonna be all right."
An excerpt from feature article / album review 'Perfect Di-Version - Diane Ward returns with a soft album for hard times' by Greg Baker, Miami New Times.
An intelligently subtle lyricist, Ward has never been afraid to wear her emotions on her T-shirts and spill her personal guts in her evocative songs. Wonderlight clearly shines its thematic concerns on a world gone fucknuts. America is involved in three wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, and "on terror"). A hurricane washed away a major American city and revealed a foundation of poverty and disenfranchisement where citizens remain trapped in second-class existences. And locally Ward has spent a lifetime watching South Florida turn into some sort of larger-than-life game of Monopoly gone haywire.
'Wonderlight' review - South Florida Sun Sentinel by Sean Piccoli
With her husky, rock-perfect voice, Miami singer- songwriter Ward has never required much accompaniment. She’s more than made do with guitar, bass and drums for the majority of her work onstage and in the studio. But her new album, Wonderlight (Shinytown Records), adds to the ensemble without injury to Ward’s heartfelt singing. The opening track Fall From Summer rolls out in dreamy, Beatlesque waves. Plucked violin strings add a baroque touch to the title track, while Messed Up glides along wistfully on piano and a low-key electronic pulse. It’s all still unmistakably Ward — joined again by her longtime guitar player and co-producer, Jack Shawde. But Wonderlight finds them thinking of the studio itself as an instrument, and using it more ambitiously than ever in their songwriting.