There is a Wikipedia entry for “Prince associates” — a list of protégés and associates to whom Prince “contributed a significant portion of material, or who are current/former bandmates, well known for their association with Prince.” The compilation lists 48 artists and acts, including Chakha Khan, Sheila E., Sheena Easton, and Patti LaBelle.
Well, it’s time for an update, if for no other reason than to give proper recognition to Liv Warfield, the rock, soul, and blues singer who has performed for years with Prince’s band, New Power Generation. Prince was also executive producer on her 2014 album, The Unexpected, and he wrote or co-wrote two of the record’s 13 songs: “The Unexpected,” and “Your Show.”
Warfield, 36, occasionally does live appearances on her own — most recently performing four sets over two nights last weekend at Iridium, one of the best places to hear live music in Manhattan. If the crowd’s reaction to the set I heard is any indication, she is definitely ready to do more and bigger venues on her own.
Backed by a very tight quartet, led by guitarist Ryan Waters, with TaRon Lockett on drums, Nick Semrad on keyboards, and Jonathan Moran on bass, Warfield leaned heavily on material from The Unexpected — including her most commercial song, “Why Do You Lie?” — and from her earlier, more ballad-heavy first album, Embrace Me (2006), before bringing the house to its feet with a raucous version of the Buddy Miles classic, “Them Changes,” followed by The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.”
Warfield and Waters are working together on a new album but there’s no indication when it might be released. Until then, best to catch her when and where you can, with Prince for sure, but also on her own.
For more information on Warfield, head to her website.