Michael Ward (musician)

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Michael Ward
Birth name Michael Ward
Born (1967-02-21)February 21, 1967
Genres Alternative rock
Occupation(s) Musician, producer, songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1990–present
Labels Capitol
Associated acts School of Fish
The Wallflowers
John Hiatt
Ben Harper
Gogol Bordello
Tiny Buddies
Website www.wardworldwide.com

Michael Ward is an American guitarist who has played with the bands School of Fish and The Wallflowers.[1][2] He has also recorded and performed with John Hiatt and Ben Harper.[3] Currently he plays with Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals.


In 1989, Ward co-founded the alternative rock band School of Fish[2] with singer-guitarist Josh Clayton-Felt. They signed with Capitol Records in 1990 and released their debut album School of Fish the following year, scoring a minor hit with their lead single "3 Strange Days".[2] In 1993, School of Fish released their second album, Human Cannonball, which did not sell as well as their first one and ultimately led to the dissolution of the band a year later.

In 1996, Ward was invited by T-Bone Burnett to record guitar parts and background vocals with The Wallflowers as they began working on their second album Bringing Down the Horse,[2][3] which ultimately became the band's biggest selling album.[4] It also won Ward and the rest of the band a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group for the single "One Headlight". For the next four years, Ward continued to record and perform with The Wallflowers, appearing on their third album (Breach). However, Ward became increasingly dissatisfied with the direction that the band was headed and ultimately quit in 2001.[2]

Since his departure from The Wallflowers, Ward has continued to write and record music with several other artists with over 30 albums to his credit.[3]

He joined the Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello in 2012, but left in 2015 to reunite with Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals.

Ward announced via his Instagram account in May 2016 that he was leaving Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals [5]


Year Album details Band Notes
1991 School of Fish
  • Released: April 1, 1991
  • Label: Capitol
School of Fish
1993 Human Cannonball
1993 Perfectly Good Guitar
  • Released: September 7, 1993
  • Label: A&M
John Hiatt
1994 Hiatt Comes Alive at Budokan?
  • Released: November 22, 1994
  • Label: A&M
1996 Bringing Down the Horse The Wallflowers 4× Platinum[4]
2000 (Breach) US: Gold[4]
2006 Both Sides of the Gun
  • Released: March 21, 2006
  • Label: Virgin
Ben Harper
2007 Lifeline
  • Released: August 28, 2007
  • Label: EMI
2013 The Blessed Unrest
  • Released: July 16, 2013
  • Label: Epic
Sara Bareilles


  1. ^ a b "Michael Ward Allmusic". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-12-24. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Wiederhorn, Jon (October 11, 2011). "Wallflowers Part Ways With Guitarist Michael Ward". MTV. MTV News. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "Michael Ward Credits". Allmusic. All Media Guide (Roviallflower). Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "RIAA – Gold & Platinum – July 26, 2010: Wallflowers certified albums". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  5. ^ "Michael Ward leaves BHIC". Retrieved 2016-07-15. 

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