Detroit singer-songwriter Mike Ward is back, with his clever, deep and intuitive finger plucked songs, which recall a mix between Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen, sharing his aged wisdom and giving you “a little bit of hope,” “some sign of life,” and “an honest act of love,” on his new eleven track album, Love Never Rests. If you’re familiar with Ward of Psychosongs, you know he’s gonna spin life in a realistic but positive fashion, turn a wonderful phrase, and utilize the best musicians of his community, to give you a cohesive album of songs by which to travel life’s sometimes weary, sometimes rewarding road.
The album starts with a tribute to his life-long partner and their everlasting patience and love for each other, called “The Currency of Forgiveness.” “Listen to the same story told a hundred times / waits patiently at the end of the line / holding doors… holding tongues / it all evens out when our days our done.” Although the album is called Love Never Rests, the album deals with much more than just the romantic or familial relationship with his wife. There are songs about childhood, old age, lost love, his family of ten brothers and sisters (!), a backdrop of faith, and especially “looking for something positive today.”
The songs are fully realized folk and country influenced songs, with satisfying lap steel or violin behind most tracks. There are bridges and repeated choruses, there are lines that you will remember for years to come, and most of all, there is Ward’s familiar and comforting voice. He even finds a way to throw some humor into the mix. One of my favorite songs on the album, “Compact Life,” talks about how he has a compact car, a compact body build, and, ironically, a compact disc.
“Got a compact disc… all it took was to take a few risks / folks who believed in me / all my friends, my extended family / got no vinyl or cassettes… nor many financial assets / can anyone still play this?… I got a compact disc.” His career, growing in his later years, is made up of creating solid albums and playing local shows, and probably finding his way onto some of the best corner-of-the-radio shows, if I’m guessing right. There is something just so wholesome and inspiring about his music, and it is of the best craftsmanship in the world of singer-songwriter music.
Love Never Rests continues an already impressive trajectory and if you like this album, there are others where it came from. He offers hope and understanding in his original music and his poetry is top notch. In solidarity with his community, the last track of the album is a poem written by another poet, Marjorie Ward (his wife?), called “Sunday Morning,” that he turned to song. It touches again on his faith, but as with the other songs, is mostly about the memories we make and carry with us into our old age. Time moves on but our memories, our songs, our smiles, remind us what a gift the trip has been.
One thought on “MIKE WARD, LOVE NEVER RESTS”
Thank you for the kind words about Love Never Rests. I am humbled. BTW Marjorie Ward is my mom. We discovered her poem on a floppy disc after she passed away.