Richard Park Ward (The Duke) is lashing out on his own from under the wings of Chris Jericho’s Fozzy. Ward is the chief songwriter in Fozzy, and you can tell that once you hear “My Kung Fu Is Good.” I saw Fozzy at the New Jersey Metalfest in 2004 and was totally amazed at the electricity that Jericho ignites. I did not even recognize Ward in the band. Now releasing his debut CD in 2005 The Duke’s uncanny songwriting skills will show the world he is not a ‘one hit wonder.’
The vocals by Ward remind me of Dave Matthews and Jackson Browne, but I feel that his vocals on this endeavor are much better. “Immune” is a song that could make it to the top of rotation on many different kinds of radio stations in categories such as easy listening, pop, and even country. The track “Back To You” even sounds a bit like Hanson at times!
I was checking the official website of The Duke and I found out that Ward has a huge family history to live up to. By the sounds of things, he should have no problem doing that. The versatility Ward maintains while spanning the genres of heavy metal (FOZZY) to easy listening (The Duke) could bring some flack from metal community, but if you’re a music fan, please give the CD a chance. I urge you to sit down, give this cd a listen and you will see the hard edge writing skills Ward possesses.
Ward mixes all modes of music in his repertoire from Rock, Pop, Classical, Country and even Rap. The production is top quality, and you can pristinely hear every cymbal crash and keyboard note. I am not going to tell you this is a multi-platinum selling CD, but for a first effort from Ward I will applaud him for one good CD and I will look forward to a sophomore follow-up.
- Richard Park Ward - Vocals, Guitar
- Frank “Bud” Fontsere - Drums
- Sean Delson - Bass
- Mike Martin - Guitar
- Eric Frampton - Keyboards
- I Give To You
- Used To Be
- Suicide Machine
- Show You The Way
- Back To You
- At This Moment