Local Wire

M. Ward

Portland, Oregon-based singer-songwriter M. Ward has built a steadily growing cult following over the past decade, releasing six studio albums and collaborating with a diverse array of artists, including Cat Power, Beth Orton, My Morning Jacket, and actress Zooey Deschanel, with whom he records and performs as She & Him. His profile rose significantly in 2004 when he joined yet another frequent collaborator, Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, on the Vote For Change tour, opening for rock legends R.E.M. and Bruce Springsteen. Yet much of Ward's solo output seems better suited for the smaller confines of a coffeehouse than a 1,000-capacity venue like the Marquee Theatre. On his past two albums, 2006's Post-War and the recently released Hold Time, Ward branched out from the sparsely arranged, lo-fi folk that made up the bulk of his early recordings. A larger venue might benefit some of the blues- and rockabilly-driven songs from Hold Time, such as "Epistemology," "Fisher of Men," and the Buddy Holly cover "Rave On," but Ward's challenge will be to maintain the intimate quality of his early work, like his brilliantly understated take on David Bowie's "Let's Dance."
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mike R. Meyer