2003's Transfiguration of Vincent is the third solo album from M Ward, who cut his musical teeth in the San Luis Obispo based trio Rodriguez. In composition and style his music has been compared to such luminaries as Tom Waits, Granddaddy, Sparklehorse and Howe Gelb. And Ward's seemingly effortless finger picking guitar conjures the elegance of the late John Fahey.
Late in 2002, Ward was asked to accompany indie-rock wunderkind Conor Oberst on his Bright Eyes Orchestra tour across the U.S. Packed houses of trendy emo kids were held in rapt awe as Ward wove his spell; they then rushed to gobble up CDs by the box after the show. The seeds were then sown for Transfiguration of Vincent to be the breakout release for one of America's most enigmatic songwriters.
Listening to an M. Ward record is like thumbing through and old family photo album, full of black and white photographs that are fading around the edges; an imperfection that only adds to the clarity of their memories.