There's sweetness to Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear's music that makes me smile, and then there's so much more. I first saw the Kansas City mother-and-son duo perform last fall in Nashville's Blue Room, a small, perfect-sounding stage at Third Man Records. The bluesy roots of the music suited the space, and the sound — with young Madisen Ward's powerful, quivering voice backed by his mother Ruth — had a homespun feel. But there's vitality to the pair's music that kept it from feeling like a throwback or a gimmick. I immediately set out to get them to the Tiny Desk.
Now, eight months later, the Wards have released their first album, released the day we recorded this concert. Their heartfelt Tiny Desk set features some playful banter, while the songs themselves are memorable and singable even days after you hear them. In all, it's a perfect introduction to a one-of-a-kind duo.
- "Silent Movies"
- "Sorrows And Woes"
- "Daisy Jane"
Producers: Bob Boilen, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Brian Jarboe; Videographers: Morgan McCloy, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: Michaela Gugliotta; photo by Morgan McCloy/NPR