M. Ward

Full Discography

LPs
  • Transistor Radio (Matador Europe) - ole-642 - 2005-02-21
  • Transfiguration of Vincent - - 2003-04-14

Biography

  Transfiguration of Vincent
April 14, 2003

"songs alive in metaphor and imagery in the spirit of Tom Waits and the late John Fahey...the antidote to commercial country"
                              — All Things Considered, National Public Radio

"a bucolic folk sound with a postmodern lo-fi sensibility... deft, poised guitar playing, vivid lyrical imagery, and melodies that burrow into your brain--as if they'd been there all along."
                              — Marc Greilsamer, Amazon.com

M. Ward is a Portland, Oregon based songwriter whose music seems to occupy a place that is uniquely "out of time". A place that bridges the gaps between the roots of various American musical traditions—folk, country, blues and rock. Armed with a guitar, harmonica, sparse percussion and a tin-pan alley-esque piano, Ward spins timeless classics that seem to flow effortlessly; simple yet eloquent tales alive with metaphor and imagery, told in a raspy, sepia-toned croon. Listening to an M. Ward record is like thumbing through and old family photo album, full of black and white photographs that are fading around the edges; an imperfection that only adds to the clarity of their memories. 

'Transfiguration of Vincent' is the third solo album from M Ward, who cut his musical teeth in the San Luis Obispo based trio Rodriguez. In composition and style his music has been compared to such luminaries as Tom Waits, Granddaddy, Sparklehorse and Howe Gelb (the Giant Sand front man has been one of Ward’s strongest champions, releasing the young songwriter’s debut CD, 'Duet For Guitars #2', on his own Ow Om label). Ward’s seemingly effortless finger picking guitar conjures the elegance of the late John Fahey. Critics and fans on both sides of the Atlantic were sent swooning over his 2001 collection, 'End Of Amnesia'. 

Late in 2002, Ward was asked to accompany indie-rock wunderkind Conor Oberst on his Bright Eyes Orchestra tour across the U.S. Packed houses of trendy emo kids were held in rapt awe as Ward wove his spell; they then rushed to gobble up CDs by the box after the show. The seeds have been sown for 'Transfiguration of Vincent' to be the breakout release for one of America’s most enigmatic songwriters. We welcome you to come along for the ride. 

Issued under licence from Merge Records

Pre-blog News

News
10/05/04 — More new album news and touring
The traveling troubador known as M. Ward will have his 4th album, 'Transistor Radio' released on Merge in the US, Matador in Europe in early 2005. You can catch Matt this week as part of the Bright Eyes' band during the arena-bound Vote For Change tour alongside Bruce Springsteen, REM and John Fogerty. Matt will be playing his own songs (and alongside) Bright Eyes and Jim James (My Morning Jacket) with Western dates starting this Friday in Forth Worth. All details on the tour page.

07/19/04 — 'Transistor Radio' album, new tour dates

The new M. Ward album, 'Transistor Radio' will be released by Matador Europe this coming January (and by Merge in North America). Said album features guest appearances by Jim James, Jenny Lewis, Howe Gelb, John Parish, Vic Chestnutt, Rachel Blumburg (The Decemberists) amongst others. We'll be releasing a new 3 song CD single in Europe this October. We just don't know which songs yet. Matt has the following solo dates planned:

Jul 29 - Carrboro, NC Cat's Cradle - Merge Records 15th Anniversary Party!

Aug 01 - Miami, FL - IO
Aug 07 - London, UK - Bush Hall
Aug 11 - Brighton UK - Hanbury Ballroom

Oct 08 - Fort Worth, TX Ridglea Theater *
Oct 09 - Austin, TX Paramount Theatre * 
Oct 12 - Las Vegas, NV House of Blues *
Oct 13 - San Diego, CA Spreckles Theatre *
Oct 14 - Los Angeles, CA Orpheum Theatre *
Oct 15 - Berkeley, CA Zellerbach Auditorium *
Oct 16 - Portland, OR Roseland Theatre *
Oct 18 - Seattle, WA Moore Theatre *
Oct 19 - Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom *

* An Evening of Solo & Collaborative Performances Featuring:
Bright Eyes
Jim James (of My Morning Jacket)
M. Ward

M. Ward also appears on these recent or upcoming recommended recordings:

Jim White "Drill a Hole in that Substrate and Tell Me What You See" (Luaka Bop/V2)
A Tribute to Daniel Johnston (Gammon)
Por Vida: A Tribute to Alejandro Escovedo - trio with Vic Chesnutt & Howe Gelb (Or)
Band of Blacky Ranchette "Still Lookin' Good To Me" (Thrill Jockey)
Court & Spark "Dead Diamond River" (Absolutely Kosher)

06/01/04 — More Beth Orton dates, new album plans
Matt has the following dates playing before and with Beth Orton:

Wed, June 9 - Headliner's, Louisville, KY
thu, June 10 - Orange Peel, Asheville, NC

The followup to 'Transfiguation of Vincent' is tentatively scheduled for early 2005 release.

04/08/04 — Back on the road agin

Our favorite traveling troubador with an economical employment of his first name, M. Ward has the following gigs forthcoming

Fri-May-07 San Diego, CA 4th & B
Sat-May-08 Los Angeles, CA The Avalon
Sun-May-09 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
Tue-May-11 Seattle, WA The Showbox
Wed-May-12 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
Thu-May-13 Vancouver, BC The Commodore
Thu-May-20 Minneapolis, MN The Quest
Fri-May-21 Chicago, IL Metro
Sat-May-22 Milwaukee, WI The Rave
Mon-May-24 Detroit, MI St. Andrews Hall
Tue-May-25 Cleveland, OH Odeon Concert Club
Wed-May-26 Clifton Park, NY Northern LIghts
Fri-May-28 Toronto, ONT Opera House
Tue-Jun-01 New York, NY Irving Plaza
Wed-Jun-02 New York, NY Irving Plaza
Sat-Jun-05 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts

All of the above dates are supporting My Morning Jacket, who incidentally, also comprise M. Ward's backing ensemble for these shows.

08/06/03 — Tour with Beth Orton
 
Matt W. is playing a solo piano gig at SF's Cafe Du Nord on August 18. He's also just confirmed a UK tour supporting and playing with Beth Orton, so please refer your bad self to our tour dates section.

04/14/03 — M. Ward checking in 
"hi. travels is happening starting this weekend around the u.s.a. with vic chesnutt (www.mergerecords.com/events) and the name of his band is the Amorphous Strums - and then, barring whatever, i will reach lower Ireland in time to support yo la tengo through the upper portions of greater europe - and then drift off down and into australia where something new will happen === hope it should go w/out saying that its always nice to see everyone everywhere...."

03/05/03 — 'Transfiguration of Vincent' coming on Matador Europe
Matador Europe is licensing the new M. Ward album, 'Transfiguration of Vincent' (ole 578-2) for April 28 release this tremendous cd is coming to us courtesy of our good friends at merge.

this is the 3rd album from M. Ward, a Portland, Oregon based guitarist/vocalist whose 2001 album 'End of Amnesia' attracted considerable praise through its release on Loose (UK) and Future Farmer (US). Ward came to our attention some years back via the patronage of comrade/collaborator Howe Gelb (Giant Sand) who issued the first m. ward album, 'duets for guitars, no. 2' on his Ow Om label in 1999.