The idea of a mother-and-son musical duo is adorable enough. What’s even better with Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear’s “The Radio Winners” (Glassnote) is that the music is good.
Really good. As in a contender for album of the year.
The new EP from the Kansas City duo of Ruth Ward and her son Madisen Ward is an exceptional six-song set of beautiful storytelling and piercing lyrics woven into folk, rock, roots and acoustic sounds.
They have been building buzz by performing at coffee shops, music festivals and concerts promoting their excellent 2015 debut album “Skeleton Crew.”
They’ve mastered harmonization, and the tunes are rich and relatable.
Madisen Ward’s vocals are striking and intense, with Ruth Ward coming in with ease and at the perfect moments, especially on “Hell and Back” and “Family Treason.”
They co-wrote each song, also working with Grammy-winner Nathan Chapman — a producer on Taylor Swift’s first five albums — and Ryan Hadlock, best known for his work with the Lumineers.