M Ward © KLRU photo by Scott Newton

M Ward

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M Ward Season 35 by Decoder Ring Design Concern

While “singing beautifully sad songs about mortality and feeling lonesome” (Rolling Stone) M. Ward has spent years crafting music to become one of the most acclaimed American musicians of the decade.

The man known as Matthew Stephen Ward to his parents grew up listening to country, gospel and classical music, and first came to attention with the California band Rodriguez before going solo. Combining his country/folk/blues roots with indie rock, Ward began a distinctive solo career that encompasses jazzy pop melodies and atmospheric textures.

His solo releases have resulted in increasing notoriety with each release. On 2003’s Transfiguration of Vincent, Ward “creates a full, alluring atmosphere that will recall for listeners all sorts of classic American music” (PopMatters). 2005’s Transistor Radio is “musically imaginative, robustly performed, and drawn from a golden well of warmth and intelligence” (Delusions of Adequacy) and 2007’s Post-War “squeezes big themes into modest but bewitching tunes” (Blender).

After taking a detour to form the critically-accliamed group She & Him with actress Zooey Deschanel, Ward released a new solo album earlier this year. Entertainment Weekly wrote his latest release, Hold Time, is “a musical wanderer’s dusty, train-hopping tour through folk, blues, and country.” This CD “cements his status as one of America’s best roots songwriters” (Q Magazine) and is “as finely wrought and thoroughly affecting an indie effort as 2009 is likely to see” (New York Magazine).

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