About

With performances equal to the mastery of the ranger trade, The Wardens - Scott Ward, Bradley Bischoff and Ray Schmidt - are a Banff National Park-based trio whose stories rise from the very land they’ve protected for the past 60+ years.

The Wardens' mountain music - blending folk, roots and western styles - is a piece of Canadiana reflecting the pristine wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. The trio have performed at Folk Alliance International, Canmore Folk Fest, Alberta Showcase and shared the stage with Blue Rodeo, Paul Brandt, Scenic Route to Alaska, and Tim Hus. 

RAY SCHMIDT

Vocals, upright bass, mandolin

A series of expeditions across Canada including canoeing in Labrador and trapping in the sub-arctic wilderness lead Ray to the Rocky Mountains where he started working in the parks service in 2001.

Ray founded The Wardens in 2009 with Scott Ward during the national park warden centennial after discovering the rich depth of music and stories within this region of Canada.

Channeling the high lonesome sound of the Kentucky hills, Ray's high tenor vocals amplify the spirit of The Wardens' Rocky Mountain sound.
  

SCOTT WARD

Vocals, fingerstyle guitar

A national park warden for over 30 years in Banff National Park, Scott's music stems from a life lived in the deep wilderness of the Canadian Rockies as a horseman, search-and-rescue dog handler and high mountain rescuer.

Evoking the haunting fingerstyle guitar of Gordon Lightfoot with the mystique and presence of Ian Tyson, Scott's music drips with Canadian authenticity.

In 2001, Scott was awarded the Governor General' s Award for Exemplary Service as a Peace Officer.

BRADLEY BISCHOFF

Vocals, lead and rhythm guitar

Stationed in the rugged South Boundary region of Jasper National Park, Bradley began his national park warden lifestyle in 1981.

Assigned alone to the backcountry with a handful of horses for seventeen days at a time, Bradley penned many songs by the dim cabin lights and the dusky summers spent in the high alpine ranges.  

Bradley was a founding member of the popular Alberta Swing/Rockabilly band The Free Rangers. With The Wardens, he combines his melodic vocals and smooth lead licks with his mountain roots.