Lyrically-centric, vocally-charged folk songs that occasionally take on political issues. Those are what singer-songwriter Mike Ward loves to create. Living in Detroit, Mike grew up listening to Irish music and singing in choirs. A few of his influences are Jason Isbell, Nanci Griffith, Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and John Prine. His writing echoes along empty sidewalks, on our nation’s backroads,
in family portraits, and in the thin lines between joy and tragedy, love and loss, past, present and future. Mike spent the better part of 40 years on the creative side of the advertising industry but now creates music full time and is immersed in the Michigan music scene.
His first studio album,”We Wonder”, was released in 2018. Phil Maq of WHFR 89.3FM named it Best Folk Album of 2019. “The Darkness and the Light” released in January 2021, explored a life lived with regret and hope and reflections of our changing world. The album made it to number 33 on the FAI Folk charts for March 2021 and has been played on radio around the globe.
In June 2022, Mike emerged with a 12-song album titled, “Particles to Pearls”where he dug deep into love of family (past, present and future) and the idea of how fleeting our time is. He received an honorable mention in the Great River Folk Fest Songwriting Contest for the song,“Letting Go”.
A new three-song EP released Oct 7, 2022 and is dedicated to those who raise their voice, chase freedom, make their way from other lands to seek refuge and to all those who support basic human ideals. From protecting individual rights and free speech to the issue of immigration we all share responsibility to question wrongs and to fight to make them right.
Mike performs at venues and house shows throughout Michigan and the Midwest. You might find him at Trinity House Theatre, Wiltsie’s, PJ’s Lager House, Pete’s Candy Store and Over Yonder House Concerts. Festivals such as Wheatland Folk Festival, FARM (Folk Alliance Region Midwest) DJ Showcase or Performance Lane, Thumbfest, HollerFest, Thunder Bay Folk Festival and Arts, Beats & Eats. He has been featured virtually on Ron Olesko’s Folk Music Notebook Shelter in Place Showcase, Jon Stein’s Hootenanny Cafe Showcase, John Bommarito’s Acoustic Alternatives, Charlie’s Open Mic Acoustic Showcase with Charlie Mosbrook and The Stratton Setlist.
Why Psychosongs? Well his nickname as a hockey player is “PsychoWard”. Enough said.