The latest band making international headlines doesn’t rely on flashy outfits, multi-coloured wigs or flashy stage gimmicks to sell audiences. Nor does it feature any of the stereotypical antics that typically make splashy tabloid covers on the supermarket stands. Nope, if anything, Madisen Ward + The Mama Bear will make you want to go hug your mom.
The mother-son duo from Kansas City are touring the world together right now making beautiful music, and it’s some pretty touching stuff. Son Madisen is 26 years old, while “Mama Bear” Ruth Ward is 62. Together, with their acoustic guitars, they’re belting out some of the most heartfelt music we’ve heard in a really long time. And people are taking note.
The pair have been playing for years together in local bars and coffee shops — even since Madisen turned 19 and he started singing with his mom, who has been playing herself since she was 19 years old.
“I just really liked the way he wrote songs. I would have him come up on stage and play a song or two with me and then we started playing together a little bit,” Ruth tells The Loop. “We noticed that people really enjoyed us playing together and liked what they heard, so I quit playing with other people and just start playing with him exclusively.”
The pair came up with their name (they originally wanted to go by just “Mama Bear” but that was taken), and released their first single, “Silent Movies” from their new album, Skeleton Crew, which was released on May 19. It’s a compilation of five years’ worth of writing and performing together; Madisen “puts the art on the canvas” and Ruth “comes back to do the touchups.”
Leading up to that monumental release, things really started picking up for the mother and son. The band booked gigs on CBS Morning and on Late Night with David Letterman all while garnering praise from the likes of Rolling Stone and Billboard Magazine.
“The positive of touring now is I get to know him even better, and just watch him blossom as an adult” Ruth says. “Plus he can keep his eye on me; make sure I don’t get in trouble!”
Listen to Madisen Ward + The Mama Bear for yourself, and just try not to smile when you watch them in the video, above.