Mark Ransom
Gig Seeker Pro

Mark Ransom

Bend, OR | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | SELF | AFM

Bend, OR | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Rock Jam

Calendar

Music

Press


"The Mostest will ‘Teleport People’ in Bend"

The Mostest will ‘Teleport People’ in Bend
Long-running band plays album-release show at J DUB

The Mostest -- from left, bassist/producer Patrick Pearsall and guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Mark Ransom -- releases its fourth studio album, "Teleport People."

BRIAN MCELHINEY
THE BULLETIN

Mark Ransom experienced his first UFO dream while attending college in Colorado in the late ’80s.

That same dream, or variations on it, haunted the singer-songwriter and music educator for nearly three decades, and for most of that time, Ransom didn’t understand why. But in the last few years, he received insight into the dream from one of his professors, psychologist Jonathan Young of the History Channel series “Ancient Aliens,” while studying Jungian and archetypal psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California.

“I began to understand that image as a call to what I’m supposed to do with my life: Here I am, this is what I’ve been doing; if I keep following it, where does this take me?” Ransom said.

After completing the two-year program at Pacifica, Ransom may just have a better understanding of what that dream is all about. Ransom, who has worked in music education in area schools for many years through Rise Up International, wanted to study the connections among arts, music and psychological well-being.

At the same time he was going back to school, Ransom recorded his fourth studio album with bassist and producer Patrick Pearsall and longtime band The Mostest. His first studio set in five years, “Teleport People” ties together many of these threads in a sprawling album that he hopes will lead to more interconnectivity between his performing and educating work. The Mostest — Ransom, Pearsall, drummer Jeff Ingraham and keyboardist Patrick Ondrozeck, plus guests Aaron-Andre Miller, Gabe Johnson and more — will perform a CD release show at J-DUB Restaurant & Bar on Friday.

The album’s cover, featuring a flying saucer suspending an electric guitar in the air via tractor beam, reflects Ransom’s reoccurring UFO dream, as does the title track, written by Ransom’s college friend Brian Deckebach. The space theme also features in some of the ethereal synthesizer sounds Pearsall and Ondrozeck featured between (and often within) songs.

“We looked at the theme and where I was at in my life, and we thought, well, it kind of tells a story that goes beyond my own personal thing,” Ransom said. “It’s kind of a midlife crisis story in a way; there’s some elements of that.”

For example, the song “Rewind” features the lyric, “I traded in my minivan for a new Maserati; left my true love for a new, young hottie.”

“People will hear a song like ‘Rewind’ and they’re like, ‘Dude, did you really leave your wife and go after some young girl?’” Ransom said. “… Being able to write that and put that out there, it embodies a sentiment that we hear frequently in our culture, and it’s probably pretty accurate to say that in our lives we have those kinds of feelings. But I’m sure my wife’s happier that I made a song and an album than got a girlfriend. And there again, that’s the idea behind creative process: to process our stuff, to write it down, to get it out.”

Then there’s “Julian,” a mid-album set piece that shifts suddenly from upbeat folk-rock into an acid-jazz breakdown mid-song. The song is about a hitchhiker Ransom picked up on Red Mountain Pass in Colorado one snowy morning while driving from Durango to Telluride.

“I just thought to myself, wow, anybody that just has the balls to jump in the car with somebody else driving over this on a snowy day, I said, ‘Either they’re just desperate or they’re really, really comfortable with the whole life-death scenario,’” Ransom said. “And sure enough, I thought to myself, my wife’s not gonna like that I’m picking up a hitchhiker, but this guy obviously needs help, and I know for certain that I’m gonna get a song out of this.”

Ransom isn’t kidding about being familiar with this treacherous stretch of road: He and Pearsall have toured Colorado roughly 30 to 40 times, per Pearsall’s count, since The Mostest formed in 2006.

The band’s open-membership model — roughly 50 people have played on albums or at shows with the duo over the years, Pearsall said — continued with “Teleport People.” Ingraham — known for his work with Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and others — Ondrozeck and lead guitarist Pete Lupi formed the core band, but the album features at least 11 other musicians.

“We recorded everybody doing everything because you never know what you’re gonna get, right?” Pearsall said. “Sometimes you just get something great, and sometimes — like, Gabe Johnson’s a great guitar player. (He) came in, played four or five solos, one made it on the record. Just the way it is, and not that the stuff wasn’t good, but it’s just not fitting with all this other (stuff).”

With the album out, Ransom said he hopes to start touring with Pearsall again (the duo’s last trek out to Colorado was a couple of years ago). He wants to tie in more music education on the road, possibly teaching kids in schools at tour stops before playing an evening show.

And Ransom’s UFO dreams are different now, too. Before going back to school and making this album, Ransom said, he only saw the lights on the ship in his dream.

“As soon as I got into this work in my program and started to write songs about the stuff and did a lot of other work with it, all of a sudden the dreams shifted in character, and now the craft is structured,” he said.

GO! listen to “Teleport People,” the title song from Mark Ransom & The Mostest’s latest album: https://soundcloud.com/markransom/teleport-people - Bend Bulletin


Discography

1998 Mark Ransom   Man of My Word
1999 Rhythm Beans  Ocean in the Air
2002 Mark Ransom   Stride
2006 Mark Ransom  Champion of Mystery
2007 The Mostest  The MOSTEST
2009 The Mostest   Masala Mostest
2013 The Mostest  Zara Dreams

2019 The Mostest  TELEPORT PEOPLE

Photos

Bio

This page is home to Mark's newsletter, "Ransom Notes," and a way to keep fans, friends and media current on musical activity, tour info and side projects. For a more elaborate history, discography and biography of Mark Ransom please visit http://www.markransom.com. For info about the Bend Roots Revival and Rise Up Presents' arts education outreach projects in Central Oregon click here: http://www.bendroots.net.

RANSOM NOTES SPRING 2021

Hello Friends,

I welcome your communications. Feel free to email me at mark@markransom.com. And be sure to check out a new song, “Look Out!” (https://vimeo.com/4110131280). Like my new website, it is a work-in-progress, a co-write with lyricist Mark Fesche (the guy who wrote the lyrics for “God Bless the Taco Stand”).

Despite continued ambiguousness surrounding COVID, as Summer approaches, many musical projects continue to unfold. I am currently in the virtual studio with my cousin Eric Ransom (who is in Columbus, Ohio), drummer Eddie Davis (in Cleveland), and Mostest bassist, our good friend, Patrick Pearsall (who lives here in Bend, Oregon)--working on a new Ransom Band record which will feature six new original songs by me, and six from cousin Eric. It is a roots rock revival project steeped in influences of the Ransom cousins upbringing--folk, jazz and blues, with nods to Neil Young, The Dead, The Allmans and Derek and the Dominos.

Also on in-progress is Mike & Mark's Grateful Bend Volume One--a Grateful Dead Tribute CD from Bend, Oregon produced by Mike Beaulieu and yours truly ... featuring two songs each fronted by me, Travis Ehrenstrom, Evan Mullins, Bill Powers, Pete Kartsounes, and Patrick Mayor. About a third of the album will have an acoustic feel, a third more heavy-hitting electric-psychedelic and a third lands somewhere in-between. More as we get further along, but it looks like a winter 2022 release for both projects.

I am collaborating with the Bend funky rock project, Victory Swig, and also continue to work regularly with GBOTS and the Journeymen. Recently I've joined forces with one of my mentors, Eugene-based singer-songwriter, John Shipe (of Renegade Saints fame), as his side man; and am looking forward to making more music with Sickbird (featuring Jeshua Marshall on upright bass, Lindsey Elias on drums, and hit-maker Andy Armer on keys). My acoustic trio with Julie Southwell on violin and Jeshua Marshall on upright bass continues to flourish, and Jeshua and I have a weekly duo lunch jam planned for this Summer to be announced soon. 

I've already confirmed several outdoor dates for this Summer, and expect quite a few more to fill-in in the coming months. Please check the shows list at sonicbids.com/markransom or via the music section of my website at markransom.com for an up to date list of scheduled performances.

Finally I should report that I'm back in school pursuing a PhD in Jungian and archetypal psychology through Pacifica Graduate Institute. My dissertation research, which begins this Fall, after the Bend Roots Revival, will center on the intersection of creative process--specifically the creation of musical images--and psychological wellbeing. Gods bless Pacifica, and my family for putting up with my mid-life, back to school, crisis-project!

The Bend Roots Revival is scheduled for the last weekend in October again and will follow the same format as last season--socially distanced among several venues around Bend. Thanks Worthy Brewing, Silver Moon, Cosmic Depot, Avid Cider, Spoken Moto and our new non-profit partner, FVZZ RECORDS for your love and support!

Best to all of you.

Be safe and rock on! 

Wishing you well,

Mark


Band Members