“I ain’t the girl next door, I’m no good,” Sunny War warns on her 2018 single “Age of a Man.” The song unfolds like a riddle as the local singer-guitarist plucks a hypnotic riff underneath coolly mesmerizing vocals, with an occasional splash of salty, rueful horns. After growing up in Michigan and Tennessee, Sydney Ward moved west and ended up living and playing on the streets of San Diego and San Francisco. She’s one of the rare modern artists who make the blues relevant and unpredictable, perhaps in part because a punk-rock ethos infuses her solo work as Sunny War and in her punk-blues duo Anus Kings. Ward contrasts the fatalistic blues of “My Sweet Demise” with an acoustic cover of The Clash’s “Lovers Rock,” on Particle War, her 2019 split LP with psychedelic folkie Particle Kid.
McCabe’s Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; Sat., Feb. 15, 8 p.m.; $18. (310) 828-4497, mccabes.com.
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