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KCUR's Band Of The Week: Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear

Courtesy Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear
Madisen Ward and his mother Ruth Ward are Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear.

Madisen Ward and his mother Ruth Ward of Independence went from complete obscurity to a modicum of international celebrity in 2015. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear were playing at open-mic nights in area coffeehouses when they signed with Glassnote Records, home of superstar acts including Mumford & Sons.

The duo promoted their 2015 debut album “Skeleton Crew” on prominent outlets including NPR's Tiny Desk Concert, CBS Sunday Morning and Late Night with David Letterman.

Their only headlining appearance in the Kansas City area this year will be a concert on Saturday at Johnson County Community College, where they'll be joined by a full band.

If the audience is lucky, they'll get to hear an ethereal cover of Fleetwood Mac’s chart-topping 1977 hit “Dreams,” which is a showcase for Ruth Ward’s hauntingly emotive vocals.

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear’s manager tells KCUR that the duo plans to release an EP in the first quarter of 2018.

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, 8 p.m. Saturday, December 2 at Yardley Hall in the Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Boulevard, Overland Park, Kansas, 66210-1299, 913-469-4445.

KCUR contributor Bill Brownlee blogs about Kansas City's jazz scene at Plastic Sax.

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