Thursday, December 3, 2015
Where: The Southern
Cost: $15 Advance / $15 Day of Show
w/ Luke Bell
At home, Madisen and Ruth Ward are family members. Onstage, they're the leading members of Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear, a soulful folk band whose sound is anchored by twin guitars and two big, booming voices.
The music started in Kansas City, where Madisen grew up watching his mom perform cover songs at local coffeeshops. Before long, he was writing his own tunes, mixing the old-world influence of his family's folk records with the unchained, energetic stomp of modern-day rock & roll. The two began playing entire shows together, ditching the cover songs in favor of Madisen's original material. Both sang, both played guitar, and both watched as their band's audience slowly grew.
For years, though, they kept a low profile. This was honest music, performed by a band of blood relatives with no record label, no manager, no budget. Still, it was hard not to notice Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear. Onstage, they were solemn one minute and electrifying the next, able to command an audience's attention with little more than two acoustic guitars and Madisen's super-sized baritone vocals.