Welcome back to Uncharted, an Uproxx original series highlighting the best artists you haven’t heard of, yet. With the support of our friends at Honda, we are following some of the best emerging talent as they follow their dreams and make great music.
Don’t confuse Madisen Ward and his mom for some sort of family band traveling in a painted bus; the two performing as a folk duo is not a gimmick.
Back in the ’60s and ’70s, Ruth Ward was a gigging folk and soul musician in the Midwest, who even managed to put out a record. But those musical aspirations were set aside once family came into the picture.
“My mom started to become a fan of the things that I was writing. She would tell me, ‘Hey, I’m gonna take a break during this show. You should go up and play a couple songs,’” Madisen said. “It just kept blossoming from there. I started playing on the songs that my mom was doing, she started playing on my original songs, and the songs just started to take shape more and more and kind of almost develop their own sound. It wasn’t so much of her taking a break anymore, it was just the two of us going up there and playing.”
This blurring eventually became popular enough that the two were playing serious gigs. Eventually, they came to a crossroads.
“I asked her, ‘Do you want to just actually pursue this for real?’ and she said, ‘Yeah, definitely.’ So I asked, ‘If someone came in and said You’re going on the road now, this is your life, you’d be cool with that?’ and she said yes. So I said, ‘Alright, we’re just going to keep going. We’re not putting any brakes on this. We’re just going to keep trying to put this music out in front of as many people as we can, and if anyone offers us any opportunities, we’re not saying no.'”