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Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear perform at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival.
Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear perform at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival.

Mother and son by chance, bandmates by choice: That's Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear. Madisen and Ruth Ward performed together for several years around their native Kansas City before bringing their organic, homespun charm to a national audience with the release of Skeleton Crew, their debut album, earlier this year. The roots-music duo excels at crafting expressive character sketches like the jaunty "Daisy Jane" and the darker "Undertaker And Juniper," with refrains that are memorable even (or especially) if they're wordless.

Sounding like they'd be right at home singing bluesy folk tunes in a family kitchen or strumming their guitars in matching rocking chairs before a warm hearth, the duo radiated easy familiarity and sincerity during their Saturday-afternoon Newport Folk set. The Harbor Stage became the Wards' front porch, with all in attendance invited to gather 'round, sing along and share in the joy.


  • "Live By The Water"
  • "Whole Lotta Problems"
  • "Daisy Jane"
  • "Modern Day Mystery"
  • "Alligator Fish & Chips"
  • "Undertaker And Juniper"
  • "Dreams"
  • "Silent Movies"
  • "Sorrows And Woes"
  • "Yellow Taxi"

    Audio: Joshua Rogosin, Suraya Mohamed and Monique Mizrahi; Photography: Adam Kissick.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.