In Tsarist Russia, a doctor in a provincial hospital encounters a former student in the mental ward and he harbors a fascination with his rebellious patient. The doctor believes that he is intellectually superior to everyone except for this political prisoner. Listening to his patient, the doctor develops a new view of reality, much to the displeasure of his colleagues. Ward 6 is a metaphor on life under repressive governments, conformity versus individual expression.
Five inmates in a medical ward, with no memories of their past, try to figure out who they are and where they came from. When one of them, who they believed to be dead, returns looking healthier then ever, they realize they are merely puppets in a strange experiment. Their only hope, escape.
Here is a compilaton album of some of the tracks released on various earlier Clifford T. Ward albums and this was issued in 1992 on Virgin Universal. Probably many of you looking at this listing have never even heard of Clifford T. Ward and I am not really surprised by that all too much. He really has become somehwhat of a forgotten British artist only known briefly from his work in the '70s.
Laconic California indie minstrel M. Ward's fifth offering is a thrift shop photo album filled with histories that may or may not have been, dust bowl carnival rides, and slices of sunlit Western Americana so thick that you need a broom to sweep up the bits that fall off of the knife. Ward makes records that sound like he just wandered in off the street with a few friends and hit the record button, but what would feel lazy and unfocused in less confident hands comes off like a tutorial in old-school songwriting and performance that hearkens back to the days of Hank Williams and Leadbelly if they had had access to a modern-day studio.
M.Ward's second solo enterprise verifies the artist as one of those few songwriters who stand between the cracks of time, where he spins a hallucinatory, new universe out of old-world roots. Indeed, there's a real down-home, unpolished luster to End of Amnesia, both in execution and in songwriting, that gives it a timeless, old-fashioned pallor. And yet there's also something just slightly off in the songs, a strange, disembodied quality that seems to come at least partly from an ulterior place, be it real or imagined. That attribute is precisely what gives the music such a singular, distinctive sound and vision. Ward comes off like a sort of one-man the Band with nothing but a beat-up guitar and his sepia croak of a voice.
M. Ward's latest is a rough-cut Americana diamond, one crafted not simply from folk and bluegrass but also 50s AM radio, the saloon cabaret of studio-era Hollywood, and good old-fashioned indie rock. It's artists like M. Ward who make me contemplate why I write about music. I get my skin tingling to the acoustic guitars and I'm just thinking "Jesus, is this what it's about?" I'm trying to put the feeling this music gives me into words in an attempt to understand it, to convey how great it is and why, and maybe convince you that it's worth your cash or your bandwidth, and it occurs to me that I'm unsure why I do it– why I need to do it– and that, in the end, it's because I'm enjoying this and I want you to enjoy it, too.
To describe saxophonist Greg Ward's Touch My Beloved's Thought as his magnum opus is to impede his development as a composer. Let's just say for many a jazz artist, if this recording were included in their discography, it would be their signature piece. For Ward, it just represents the possibilities.
With his static-dusted voice and predilection for early rock antiquity, M. Ward has always come across as one of his generation's more understated bards. Interpreting the ever-deepening subtleties of his catalog generally requires repeated listens, and such is the case with his ninth solo effort, the appropriately moody More Rain. Easing in with a minute-long rainstorm soundscape, he leads off with the dreamy acoustic gallop of "Pirate Dial," a genial folk-pop hymn perfectly suited for the patient rotations of a vinyl long-player. A stuttering guitar groove on the Neko Case-aided "Time Won't Wait" quickens the album's pulse, setting up the similarly paced lead single, "Confession," a classic Ward track replete with a rich vein of warm backing vocals and soaring trumpet solo.