Lydia Warren Band
Gig Seeker Pro

Lydia Warren Band

Band Blues R&B


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Bluesy Warren Finds Her Own 'Way'"

Lydia Warren’s days as a teen blues prodigy are numbered. The bandleader, singer-songwriter and guitarist turns 20 next month. But her 19th year is going out in a blaze of accomplishment. The Franklin native recently spent a month gigging in Lebanon. And tonight, at Arlington’s Regent Theatre, the Lydia Warren Band headlines its first show in a proper theater. The concert celebrates the release of the band’s second CD, “Pass My way,” a mature, diverse effort.

“I wasn’t trying to be anything but myself on this one,” Warren said. “In the first one, I was figuring out who I was. My opinions are stronger now.”

Warren was a rock bassist at 14, when her father showed her an Albert King video. She immediately became a blues fanatic. Although she admits to liking the Backstreet Boys in high school, the late bluesman Magic Sam became her real hero. Soon she was jamming in Boston blues bars.

In drummer Warren Grant, 32, and bassist Matt Malikowski, 23, Warren found two musicians secure enough to take advice from a teen. “Older musicians can get controlling. That’s not an issue with my band,” she said.

“Now, if you’re younger than 20 and doing any type of music, you get marketed that way. I’m personally glad about that,” Warren said.

She moved out of her parents’ house this week, and is making a living in music. - Boston Herald - April 25, 2003

"Girls at play: Franklin's Lydia Warren releases her sophomore CD"

Very soon now, Franklin native Lydia Warren will be shedding a label that has received nearly as much attention as her prodigious musical talent: "teenage blues singer."

"I turn 20 this year," declares Warren, as she sits in a Framingham coffee shop, rather deliberately not drinking coffee.

She's there to discuss the release, just this week, of her second album, "Pass My Way" -- a bluesy, funky disc which demonstrates a musical maturity to match Warren's own personal landmark. Warren and her permanent touring and recording band -- bassist Matt Malikowksi and drummer Warren Grant -- are celebrating the release of the album with a performance tomorrow at Arlington's Regent Theater.

"Playing the Regent is a big deal for me," says Warren. "When I play in clubs, a lot of my friends and family can't come and see me because they're underage. But this cousins will be able to get in, and it's not a smoky place so it won't bother my grandma."

Such considerations may not weigh heavily on the minds of a B.B. King or Buddy Guy, but Warren is a very different type of blues musician. Well-known on the Boston music scene since emerging as a 14-year-old guitar phenom devoted to the works of Magic Sam and Albert King, Warren is now a seasoned performer and recording artist, as well as a world traveler and ambassador of the blues following a series of 2002 dates in, of all places, Lebanon.

"I played a show in New Hampshire, opening for a local guy named Murali Coryell," recalls Warren, of the chance encounter that led her to the tumultuous Middle East. "We barely even talked that night, but he e-mailed me out of the blue six months later and said, `You may have a chance to go to Lebanon!' And I was thinking, `What, like...Lebanon, N.H.?'"

As it turned out, Coryell was the acquaintance of a promoter from Lebanon who had fallen in love with the Boston blues scene in the '80s while attending Northeastern University. He made Warren an offer that she literally could not refuse. All that remained was to convince her parents.

"They said no," Warren recalls. "Actually, I think they said `you are not going to the Middle East EVER.' But, my mom is a teacher and a world traveler -- she's been everywhere from Lithuania to Chernobyl -- and when she said I wasn't going without a chaperone, I asked her to come with me.

"She called the American embassy, and asked about precautions that we'd need to take," says Warren, "and they said we had to be covered -- head and shoulders -- at all times. So, we went over with long-sleeved shirts, and when we got there it was 80 degrees, and all the women were dressed very revealingly. Apparently, it's only in the Muslim sections that you have to cover up."

Having survived the misinformation from her own government, Warren says that the shows themselves were fantastic. "I thought there might be an anti-American atmosphere, but the whole goal of the shows (was) to unite American and Lebanese blues musicians," says Warren, whose regular band stayed home while Middle Eastern players backed the young singer/guitarist. "The people were great, very receptive, and they probably spoke better English than I do. The only odd thing was that the Lebanese idea of blues is Eric Clapton, period. I don't really do a lot of rock-influenced blues, so it was a case of just doing my thing and hoping they liked it. Which, thank God, they did."

Upon her return from Lebanon, Warren hunkered down to work on songs for her second album. That hard work now sees the light of day with "Pass My Way," a collection of eight Warren originals and two Magic Sam covers, "Give Me Time" and "Respect Me Baby." The disc was recorded by Warren and her band in a rented house on Cape Cod, and Warren says that the process was far smoother than with her 2000 debut, "The Lydia Warren Band."

"When I recorded my first album, things were a little chaotic," she says. "I was 16, I had just fired a drummer, people were expecting the CD on deadline...`The Today Show' was filming us in the studio.

"And, I hadn't really recorded at all," Warren says. "I didn't have the experience to know that if you're not getting anything from a song after 10 takes, then you should probably stop. You also don't have to cut every song live -- you can cut and paste things together. With the first CD, I was very much of the mind that it was a blues CD, and that everything needed to be live to get the soul of the music."

This time around, Warren says, she and her bandmates assembled the tracks piece by piece, recording drum and bass first, then layering guitars and vocals over them. "We basically lived in this great house in Sandwich, and turned it into a huge studio. Matt manages a mobile recording truck, so we brought all the equipment down there, and we turned the living room into the drum room, and the bedrooms into guitar rooms. Everything was done in two weeks."

The result is a collection of 10 songs that deal largely wit - MetroWest Daily News/Milford Daily News - April 24, 2003

"She's Got It Bad, And That Ain't Bad"

To shoehorn yourself into Lydia Warren's jam-packed bedroom, located at the far end of her parents' garden-style condominium, is to immediately realize that its inhabitant has musical inclinations not commonly associated with most 17-year-olds. Let's see now: posters of such vintage bluesmen as Buddy Guy and Robert Johnson, a near-antique turntable and eight-track tape player, a quartet of Fender electric guitars, a pair of amplifiers, and a stash of music that includes recordings by such long-gone blues performers as Magic Sam, Big Maybelle, and Guitar Slim.

Well, what were you expecting? Ricky Martin maybe? Not likely. Not from a teenage prodigy who is causing such a buzz in the small and often gritty local clubs, where blues musicians often hang and jam. Not from someone who's weekend gigs and even weeknight rehearsals take her into a world thoroughly removed from her day job as a senior at Franklin High School. "Even my teachers don't know who Magic Sam is," Warren says, smiling. (Memo to FHS staff: Chicago-blues singer and guitarist, 1937-1969.)

Probably not since Mike Welch, a.k.a. Monster Mike Welch, flashed onto the local blues scene as a 13-year-old Lexington middle schooler eight years ago has a young talent with so much potential lit up the swampy jams of local blues clubs. Although Warren's professional experience is limited, the singer/guitarist/songwriter is clearly opening ears.

Says Charlie Able, co-owner of Harper's Ferry in Allston, where Warren's trio placed second in the annual Battle of the Blues Bands last July and opened for the popular Entrain on New Year's Eve: "I haven't ever seen anybody her age who has this kind of stage presence, who plays with such confidence, and who can write songs this well."

Among those startled by Warren's precociousness is her own mother. "When I used to tell her to do her homework or empty the trash, she's say 'I'm busy writing songs,'" Patricia Warren says. "Then, when I went to see her play for the first time, I said to myself, 'Oh my God, she really was writing songs."

Raised in the same suburban condo where she still lives, Warren's musical tastes have followed a predictable bubblegum-to-punk trail. She also took clarinet lessons for a couple of years, studied operatic voice for a short while, took up the bass, and when she was 14 bought a Fender Stratocaster, the 1950's style electric guitar that's still the most popular in the world. Also when she was 14, her father, Anthony, showed her a videotape that included southpaw bluesman Albert King. She was hooked. "I said to my father, 'We've got to go see him!,'" she says of King. "Except, of course, he was dead. So we went to see Monster Mike Welch instead. And when we did I said, 'Hey, young people can play this stuff, too.'"

Soon she and her father were on the road in the family's 1992 Ford Taurus. She jammed at places like the Chickenbone Saloon in Framingham and John Stone's Inn in Ashland. At first, she simply played her Strat, but later she sang. Performing was easy, however, compared to getting up the courage to ask other musicians for advice. "There were some pretty scary characters out there," she says.

Welch, now a 21-year-old freshman at Berklee School of Music with several tours and three CDs under his belt, was one of the helpful ones. "She started asking me questions about guitars and about how I started playing," the guitarist recalls. "It was really unusual for a 14-year-old to ask that kind of stuff. And she knew all these obscure tunes by people like Magic Sam. And I thought, 'This is something I recognize. I've been this kid.'"

While Warren and her father prowled local clubs in search of stages on which Lydia could perform, her mother stayed at home. "Mostly, I bit my fingernails," says Pat Warren, who earns a living as a "master" of Reiki, a technique for relaxation and stress reduction based on touch. Sometimes father and daughter arrived home so late that Lydia, who describes herself as a B student, was late for school the next morning.

The build has been slow. Warren went into the recording studio for the first time only last week, and performances with her three-piece band, formed in April [2000] and re-formed since, are still scarce. Still, she's serious enough about all this to consider putting off college. "It depends how the band's going next year," she says. "If I get a chance to go on a national tour, I'm going."

Her mother agrees. "I don't think everyone should go to college directly out of high school," she says. "There are many creative people who could use a couple of years off to grow, I'd like to see Lydia go to college, but not if it squelches her creativity. She's got a gift."

"Besides," chimes in Lydia, "I'm not interested in much else. "The Simpson's. Nintendo. Computers. Does all that count?"

"If I could play a slow blues all night long, I would," Warren said on a recent night as she and her band - 32-year-old drummer Warren - Boston Globe - January 3, 2001

"Lydia Warren Crosses Genres"

For her sophomore CD, Lydia Warren stepped back from the usual recording studio atmosphere and took the unusual step of renting a house on Cape Cod in which to make music.

“We had a mobile recording studio in a truck outside and wired the house for sound. It was a pretty wild experience. I even had a guitar amp in my bedroom.” Said the young blues singer/guitarist. “I think it gave us a much more relaxed atmosphere to record in. We felt confident to try different things.”

Although the final product, “Pass My Way”, is as blues-based as her self-titled debut CD, Warren said the new disc explores a lot of new musical territory. “There’s definitely more r&b and pop on this CD than the first,” she said. “It’s not some calculated plan we came up with just to get more airplay or something. We’re still a blues band, it’s just that soul and pop have been a huge influence on me as a musician and I wanted to explore that in addition to the blues.”

Exploring different styles of music is nothing new to Warren. She started singing back when she was only 8 when an aunt gave her a gift of singing lessons- opera singing lessons to be exact- as a birthday present. “It wasn’t for me,” Warren said of her early exposure of the world of opera singing, “but it definitely taught me how to sing properly so I don’t blow out my voice.”

Although she didn’t follow opera for a career, Warren said it might have been easier to justify to people- especially critics- a career singing arias over a career singing the blues. “I’m a young, white female. What business do I have singing the blues?”, she says almost before the question can be asked. “My only answer is that it’s American music and I’m an American.” Beyond that, she lets the music do the talking. - Boston Metro - April 24, 2003


CD To Be Released December 2004
Pass My Way - 2003
The Lydia Warren Band - 2001


Feeling a bit camera shy


With a voice that is both soulful and authentic, stinging guitar playing and songwriting that rivals the best in the business, Lydia Warren is ready to take the world of music by storm. Lydia has been getting critical acclaim and love from fans since the release of her debut CD in 2001, and is now supporting her newest CD released in 2003. Backed by Warren Grant (drums) and Matt Malikowski (bass), The Lydia Warren Band is fusing blues, R & B, soul, and modern pop to create a fresh and innovative sound. And at 21 years old, Lydia is just getting started.

While Lydia was a senior at Franklin (Massachusetts) High School in 2001 she released her debut, self-titled album. NBC's The Today Show aired a human interest story on the band, and WHDH Channel 7, Worcester Channel 3 and ATT Broadband Channel 3 followed suit. The band set itself apart from the rest of the local blues acts by sharing the stage with legendary performers, such as The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Hubert Sumlin.

In 2002 The Lydia Warren Band was nominated for a Boston Music Award in the New Blues Act category and was asked to perform in the 2002 NEMO conference. Following that, Lydia gave a seminar at Boston’s Berklee School of Music about the life of a recording and touring musician. During the summer the band made it’s way to Montreal, Canada, where they played for 60,000 people at the annual Festiblues. In late 2002 Lydia toured for several weeks throughout the Middle Eastern country Lebanon, where she performed at clubs, universities and the American Embassy.

In 2003 the band has released its highly anticipated follow up album titled Pass My Way- an eclectic mix of vintage sounds, amazing talent and modern lyrics. In 2004 the band was hand-picked to open for blues legend B.B. King, headline the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival (annually attended by 200,000 people), and appear as a special guest at the Boston Blues Festival. With a new CD in the works for December 2004 release, the Lydia Warren Band is on the fast track to becoming a household phrase!

“Versatile guitar work and a voice that can both simmer and sear”
-Boston Herald

“BB Queen”
-Boston Magazine

“Lydia is changing the face of the blues with her music”
-NBC’s Today Show