Family & Folk Music / Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear, Mother-And-Son Folk Band


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“There’s times before my mom and I are about to go onstage to play together, and maybe we just argued right before going on. But there’s something about that moment... where I give her a kiss on the cheek and say, ‘Hey, this started with you and me. Let’s go out there and do this.’” -Madisen Ward

My guests this week are Madisen and Ruth Ward, who together are known as the mother-and-son folk band Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. They’ve appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, NPR’s Tiny Desk Series, and recently released a brand new album called Started With A Family (if you haven’t heard their music yet, I highly suggest you take a listen).

For this episode, Madisen, Ruth and I tackled a question from Paige Elson from Stockton, California. Paige asked, “What are the benefits and setbacks of working creatively with family?” I’ve always been curious to know how family fits into creativity. Where does creativity come from? Do you get it from your parent’s genes or from the upbringing they provided? Madisen and Ruth brought such an interesting perspective to this question. We talked about how Ruth’s career transformed after she became a mom, how writing and performing music is different when collaborating with family members, what role music played in the Ward household, and we topped it all off with a question about a crab’s perspective.

If you have a question about the creative process, that you think would spawn a good conversation on this show, ask me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter tagged #creativeprocessing, or by emailing New episodes are coming out every Tuesday through October 22, 2019.



Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear consists of Madisen Ward and Ruth Ward. They are a modern soulful/folk music duo from Independence, Mo. The band's debut album Skeleton Crew, produced by Jim Abbiss, known for his award-winning work with Arctic Monkeys and Adele, captures Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear in their most natural setting. The two tracked most of the tracks live, sitting across from one another in the recording studio. They didn't use a click track. With help from a handful of session musicians, the two Wards captured the sound they'd been making since those coffeeshop days.



Connect with Madisen and Ruth:

-Twitter: @MadisenWardMB

-Instagram: @MadisenWardMB

-Facebook: Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear

-YouTube Channel (One For the Record Series)

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear Music Mentioned:

-Started With A Family (2019)

-Skeleton Crew (2015)

-"Dead Daffodils"

-"Undertaker and Juniper"

MadisenMusic Music Mentioned:

-“Skip and the Turtle”

-“Weep for the King”

-“Big Bad Wolfblood”

Other Music Mentioned:

-Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards by Tom Waits

-“Old Man” by Neil Young

-“Clown’s Lament”by @Metaphorest on HITRECORD

-Pink Moon by Nick Drake

People Mentioned:

-Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Actor and Ruth’s Brother)

-Tom Waits (Singer-Songwriter)

-Tracy Chapman (Singer-Songwriter)

-Mark Knopfler (Singer-Songwriter)

-Bob Dylan (Singer-Songwriter)

-The Osmonds (Family Music Group)

-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Composer)

-The White Stripes (Musical Group)

-Wu-Tang Clan (Hip Hop Group)

TV Shows Mentioned:

-The Wire (2002-2008)

-MacGyver (1985-1992)

13 episodes