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Music Review: You need Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear in your life

This cover image released by Glassnote Records shows "The Radio Winners," a release by Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. (Glassnote via AP)

(AP) -- Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear, "The Radio Winners" (Glassnote)

Sure, the idea of a mother-and-son musical duo is adorable enough for you to want to check out their music or attend their live show.

But what's even better? The music is good. Like, really good.

"The Radio Winners," the new EP from Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear, is an exceptional six-song set featuring beautiful storytelling and piercing lyrics woven into folk, rock, roots and acoustic sounds.

The Kansas City-based duo made up of Ruth Ward and her son, Madisen, have been building a buzz by performing at coffee shops, music festivals and concerts promoting their excellent 2015 debut album, "Skeleton Crew."

On the new project, they've mastered harmonization -- I mean, they are family after all -- and the tunes are both rich and relatable.

Madisen's vocals are striking and intense, with Ruth coming in with ease on the songs, and at the perfect moments, especially on "Hell and Back" and "Family Treason."

Ruth and Madisen co-wrote each song, also working with Grammy-winner Nathan Chapman -- who produced on Taylor Swift's first five albums -- and Ryan Hadlock, best known for his work with the Lumineers, on the six tracks.

What they've crafted with "The Radio Winners" puts them in contention for album of the year.

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