Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear

Folk Duo

Madisen and Ruth Ward began as a mother-and-son folk duo in 2009. They released their first EP in 2012, and debuted their first album, “Skeleton Crew,” in 2015. The Wards moved from Chicago to Independence, Missouri when Madisen was three, and have been there ever since. 

They rose to fame with their song “Silent Movies,” which they performed live on the Late Show with David Letterman. They’ve also appeared on the Today Show, CBS News and more. For their single, “Childhood Goodbye,” they collaborated with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s production company, HITRECORD, to make a music video including a cameo of the actor. In 2015, they also completed a European tour. 

Madisen grew up watching Ruth play at coffee shops. As his interest in music and songwriting grew, she would let him play during her breaks. They eventually began combining their talents and keeping a low profile before officially becoming the famous folk duo they are today.

What is it about Kansas City that inspires creativity in you?
M: The weather – especially around the fall. We get all of the seasons in Kansas City.

R: My kitchen. That’s where the creativity happens.


What is your favorite spot in Kansas City?
M: The Green Lady Lounge.

R: My house.


Where's your favorite place outside of Kansas City?
M: Nashville or NYC. I used to hate Nashville, but everybody is working toward the same goal and playing music.

R: North Carolina. It’s beautiful.


When and where are you happiest?
M: In a movie theater. Any time.

R: In my kitchen painting rocks. That’s where I get my calmness.


What is your most treasured possession?
M: There is nothing. I don’t have material items that I love.

R: I’m with Madisen, I don’t hold on to things that tight.


What has been the most memorable thing during your time as a duo?
M: For me it was touring through Europe. It was just her and I, not the entire band.

R: The best thing I’ve ever eaten was popcorn salad in Amsterdam.

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