Last time Liv Warfield performed in the Twin Cities, it was on 24 hours notice at Paisley Park.
This time, her gig at the Dakota was announced six days in advance. And now Warfield, one of Prince’s backup singers who put out her own often impressive disc this year, has added a 10 p.m. performance for Thursday at the Dakota; tickets are $45. She’s also slated to perform at 7 p.m. Luke James will open.
Warfield’s band includes the 11-piece NPG Horns, who also work with Prince. And he was the executive producer of her CD, “The Unexpected.”
Here is part of my review of the Portland, Ore., singer’s Paisley show in June:
Warfield has an explosive, gospel-infused voice and a commanding, arm-shaking stage presence. She also is strikingly creative, as evidenced on a terrific a cappella arrangement of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” for three female voices.
She also has found a sound that sets her apart, sort of a funk-rock stomp with powerhouse gospel-tinged vocals. Think a more robust Annie Lennox with much more church.
Standouts during the 75-minute set were “Freedom,” kind of a Broadway soul shout with a message; “Embrace Me,” which had an island freshness to its swing; the soft and then ebullient reprise to the new number “NotGVNGUP”; a cover of Chaka Khan’s “You Got the Love” on which Warfield got lost in funkiness; the rip-roaring “Why Do You Lie,” with its nifty jazzy vocalese ending; and the emphatic “Black Bird,” which was spiked with New Orleans-flavored bebop horns.