Madisen and Ruth Ward seem like an unlikely duo to be wooing David Letterman during the last months of his legendary late night show. Affectionately known as Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear
, the Mother/Son duo from Independence Missouri - the home of Harry Truman, about 15 minutes east of Kansas City - introduced the country to the bare bones, acoustic bliss of "Silent Movies"; a single that's now traversing the globe faster than the Wards can keep up with it.
Last month the duo's journey lead to a visit at our Sunset Park studios in Brooklyn, a day after the triumphant release of their debut album Skeleton Crew
. During their visit, we learned a lot about the roots of their partnership; one that was born around the kitchen table and in local coffee shops 6 years ago. "Music was always playing in the house. I've been playing coffee houses since I was 19," Ruth told us. "When Madisen and I started playing together I thought, 'Whoa! What is this?' A part of me knew what I wanted to play on the guitar, knew what kind of sound I needed, and he [Madisen] hit it. No one else nailed it."
Now Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear are finding their music everywhere, for good reason. "Sorrows and Woes", "Daisy Jane", and of course, the almost-ubiquitous "Silent Movies are relaxing and refreshing pieces of American roots music. One of our editor's recently told me it was like sipping sun tea on a blazing, Midwestern afternoon. Yep, that's it. Exactly.
"We started blending our voices and it was something unique we couldn't find from other artists," Madisen told us. In a way, that perfectly sums up what makes this family band so special. Watch this session. We challenge you to find another band with more charm than the Wards. Or save yourself the trouble and just watch the session again.