Posts Tagged ‘The Mostest’

Tonight: Mark Ransom & The Mostest album release (with a song to sample)

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

For the second night in a row, McMenamins Old St. Francis School (700 N.W. Bond St., Bend) is hosting an album-release show by a popular local band. Tonight, it’s folk-jam collective Mark Ransom & The Mostest celebrating their new record, “Zara Dreams,” a handsome and pristine sounding document of what makes Ransom so popular not only in Bend, but the other mountain/ski towns he tours through a couple times each year.

The show will get going around 7 p.m. and it’s free. Expect all kinds of local musicians to show up and sit in on the sets.

In the meantime, here’s part of the story I wrote on the band and the album last week:

The Mostest. Photo by Tara Reynvaan.

The sonic origins of Mark Ransom & The Mostest’s new album are nestled at nearly 9,000 feet above sea level in Crested Butte, Colo.

That’s where Ransom and his longtime creative partner Pat Pearsall tested out a buddy’s new home theater system with a documentary on the making of Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album.

They watched Simon travel to South Africa, record jam sessions with African musicians and then come back home and write songs over those rhythms.

And they were inspired.

The fruits of that inspiration bloom on the third Mostest album, “Zara Dreams,” a beautifully packaged set of Ransom’s breezy, rootsy folk-pop played by a skilled band that’s been tightening up together for years.

Tightening up, yes, but the key sounds on “Zara Dreams” are the loping grooves the band uncovered by recording in a way that, I think, is sort of the reverse of the typical process. They built a base for the songs by recording hand percussion, acoustic guitar, bass and keys, and then added the drum kit later, giving the whole thing a slightly looser, less rigid, more polyrhythmic feel.

Anyway, here’s a way to hear it for yourself. “The Gift” is the second song on the album, and it’s full of little local references that, if you live around here, will probably put a grin on your face. And that’ll make Mark Ransom happy, I guarantee it.

Mark Ransom & The Mostest, “The Gift”

Mark Ransom & The Mostest album release; 7 tonight; free; McMenamins Old St. Francis School, 700 N.W. Bond St., Bend; www.mcmenamins.com.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Today’s cover story in GO! Magazine is on local heroes Larry and His Flask, their recent tour of Europe, their history of busking and the stress that comes along with being in hard-touring band, even if you’re in one of the most fun bands on Earth.

They’ve come a long way from their old-school punk-rock days, that’s for sure. Just for fun, I dug up this old story I did on the Flask in 2006. Give it a read … it’s an eye-opener.

But back to the present. Larry and His Flask returns to Redmond tonight for a free, all-ages show that may be your only chance to catch them live this summer (if you live in Central Oregon). I met up with the guys last week where we chatted about, well, all the stuff I mentioned above. Here’s an excerpt:

This is a band, after all, that decided at some point to just go and travel and play for people and win their ears and hearts with the pure power of their live show.

I'm so happy with how today's cover turned out.

And it worked. Thanks to that initial DIY effort, plus subsequent support tours, the Warped gig and gushing press, Larry and His Flask is now one of the buzz bands on the white-hot roots-music-with-punk-spirit scene.

Banjo player Andrew Carew couldn’t have guessed what the future held. He joined the fold when he was 19, after his band broke up and the Flask was in flux. When asked if he saw this kind of potential in these guys, he answered simply: “No.”

Then, after a perfectly timed pause: “Hell no!”

He was wrong, of course. Late last week, the six band members … reflected on their favorite parts of the European tour, which carried them through 10 countries: the Leaning Tower of Pisa. A canal tour in Holland. A sunny drive across the snow-capped Alps.

Busking in Edinburgh, Scotland and Florence, Italy and London.

“Those were awesome,” Jesse Marshall said.

So were the shows, where crowds were bigger than expected and lots of folks actually sang along to the band’s songs.

This is a story of a band that did things the right way and now it’s paying off. I hope you’ll go read the whole thing.

Three other things worth noting in this week’s very crowded GO!:
– Local chamber-folk trio Hilst & Coffey will celebrate its new album Wednesday at McMenamins Old St. Francis School.
– Local roots-jam band Mark Ransom & The Mostest will do the same thing the next night at the same place.
– The popular free concert series Munch & Music kicks off Thursday in Drake Park with the reggae band Live Wyya.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings, September Stayed, American Me, Keak Da Sneak, City Faire, The Dirty Words, Ray Lawrence Jr., Johnny Outlaw & The Johnson Creek Stranglers, Bryan John Appleby, Lemolo, Abbey Road Live!, Taarka, Chiringa, Beth Wood, Chris Kokesh and more!

2011 Bend Roots Revival: Day 3

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

(Find all our coverage of the 2011 Bend Roots Revival, including a preview of the event and recaps of all three days, by clicking here.)

As if it was determined to present a well-rounded microcosm of life in Bend, the Bend Roots Revival’s third day brought about much cooler temperatures and, with them, this town’s impressive collection of fuzzy, puffy, fleecy, downy jackets. I don’t know if it was the weather or some other factor, but the Sunday crowd at Roots seemed much smaller than I expected. Maybe I was seeing things wrong.

There was, however, a good-sized gathering around veteran folk singer Allan Byer on the Casey’s Corner stage when I showed up in the mid-afternoon. For 15 minutes, at least, Byer had one of the few spots on the schedule with no competing sets, which no doubt helped draw people in. But the guy also has been playing anywhere and everywhere in Central Oregon for years, and he has gathered a following, I’m sure. It’s easy to see why; Byer’s sound is soothing and tasteful, the perfect start to any Sunday afternoon full of music. I arrived just in time to capture one of his trademark Bruce Cockburn covers:

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This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, August 26th, 2011

The popular and prolific singer-songwriter Ben Harper returns to Bend tonight for the first time in more than five years. And lucky us, he’s currently touring behind the best album of his long career, “Give Till It’s Gone,” which was released in May.

Here’s Harper doing one of the intensely raw and personal songs from the album.

Here’s part of what I wrote:

“Give” is the man’s best work yet, kicking off with the melancholy tone of “Don’t Give Up on Me,” the slow-burn defiance of “I Will Not Be Broken” and the playful, Wilco-esque chug of “Rock N’ Roll Is Free.” Later, Harper tries to find hope in a doomed relationship as “Pray That Our Love Sees the Dawn” lopes along an understated groove.

Occasionally, the somber fog lifts. “Clearly Severely” and “Do It For You, Do It For Us” are, quite simply, scorching rockers that sound like catharsis happening inside your headphones. And the album’s high point is also it’s centerpiece: two sprawling, psychedelic songs (co-written by Ringo Starr) called “Spilling Faith” and “Get There From Here” that flow together and stand out as an oasis of hope in a murky sea of anger and regret.

But it’s that “lens of anger and regret,” the L.A. Times pointed out in its review of “Give” back in May, that “provides Harper a musical focus he’s never had.” And it’s that focus that sets Harper’s newest work apart from his too-often unremarkable back catalog.

I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing.

Next up: After years gigging around Bend, local musical couple The Quons have their first album ready for release and they’ll celebrate it with a big CD-release show Saturday at PoetHouse Art. Click here to read my feature story on these fine folks.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Brothers Young and Hurtbird play an early show at Parrilla Grill, Maverick’s Country Bar hosts the twangy Lee Brice, and eclectic singer-songwriter Nathan Leigh hits The Sound Garden. Plus The Mostest and the Shireen Amini Band at Parrilla, a heavy bill (Stillfear, Tentareign, Sons of Dirt) at Players, Eric Tollefson plays a free show in Redmond and Blackstrap takes their bluegrass to Elk Lake Resort.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Busy local singer-songwriter Tim Coffey and his partner in cello, Kat Hilst, will play with a whole bunch of folks Thursday to celebrate the release of Coffey’s album “Strings Unbound.” I spoke with the man about how he blossomed from a struggling lyricist and veteran of cover bands into a full-fledged singer-songwriter relatively late in life.

“I always wanted to play my own music, (but) I could never write any lyrics that I didn’t think were stupid,” he said.

Then, one day in the summer of 2009, it hit him while hiking on Broken Top. Words popped into his head. “I didn’t know if they were any good, but they didn’t sound stupid,” Coffey said. “For the first time, they didn’t sound stupid. So I wrote ‘em down and that turned out to be the song ‘Already There.’ And it just started snowballing. All of a sudden I started writing songs.”

I hope you’ll read the whole thing by clicking here.

Also, it’s WinterFest weekend! Which means lots of great live music that you’d dance to if your feet weren’t solid blocks of ice. Click here to read up on tonight’s headliner, The Aggrolites, and Saturday’s headliner, Lyrics Born. The event’s entire music lineup is listed right here. (Note: Don’t miss Derby tonight, just before The Aggrolites. I saw them play in the parking lot of the east-side location of a very famous Portland doughnut shop a few years ago, and they are an excellent pop-rock band. Oh and Moon Mountain Ramblers on Saturday! Make Local Bands Habit!)

Elsewhere in the music section: Patrick Lamb plays The Oxford Hotel’s jazz series, folk singer Johnsmith returns to the HarmonyHouse in Sisters, local proto-blues band Blackflowers Blacksun is at the M&J, Mark Ransom and The Mostest will light up Silver Moon, Long Beach Rehab visits The Summit Saloon and Capture the Flag kicks off its tour with two free shows this weekend. Last but not least, portello winecafe in Northwest Crossing will host Tyler Fortier, a Eugene singer-songwriter who is from Bend originally, and who writes terrific songs. He’s got a new CD coming out — a lo-fi concept record about the old West — and Saturday is the official release show, so go show him some love.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Portland indie-folk artist Laura Veirs will arrive in Bend Wednesday to play her gorgeous songs at the Tower Theatre. (There are a couple places in the article where it says the show is Tuesday. Oops. Ignore that. It’s Wednesday.) I spoke with her about her new baby and her seventh album, “July Flame,” which was released early this year and is a return to the folksier sound of her early work.

Stripping away some of the fancy production of past albums was the goal from the beginning, Veirs said, for two main reasons.

One, she wanted to challenge herself.

“This last album was quite a challenge for me to write because I’d written seven albums,” she said. “I’d played these chords hundreds of times, so it was like, ‘OK, I need to change the tuning on my instrument. I need to write on a different instrument. I need to surprise myself.’ I think that’s where the good art comes, when you yourself feel surprised and engaged in something new, because that’s what resonates with other people.”

I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing.

California folk singer Rita Hosking will visit Sisters Saturday night to kick off the new season of HarmonyHouse concerts. My colleague David Jasper spoke to Hosking about what HarmonyHouse denizens can expect.

“We do mostly my original songs, which range from uptempo to pretty slow,” she explained. “It’s all very country-folk, and so it’s all acoustic, and you’ll often hear a lot of harmonies; they sing along with me.

“We also do some covers and banjo-fiddle tune instrumentals thrown in here and there. It makes for a nice, diversified show for an acoustic group. We do lots of different things. We can rock out a little bit, or play old-time music or bluegrass. I like to do folk ballads. We do it all.”

Click here to read the whole thing and to check out HarmonyHouse’s lineup for the season.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Super Adventure Club, The Mostest and Matt Miller, The Capitol Steps, Acorn Project and Sassparilla. As always, there’s more in The Bulletin’s complete music listings.

Bend Roots Revival: Day 1

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Suddenly, it seems, the Bend Roots Revival is one of the biggest and best parties in Bend.

If you were paying attention, you could see this coming. In my post-Roots Feedback column last year, I wrote: “I think this thing is on a fast track to becoming one of Bend’s coolest cultural events. The atmosphere was electric on Friday night, especially once the sun went down. And that was on the first night of the festival — people were just getting warmed up.”

Well, take that feeling and multiply it by, say, three or five, and you have a sense for what the first night of the 2009 Bend Roots Revival was like.

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July 17 in GO! Magazine

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Oops … forgot to do our weekly roundup of the music-y stuff in GO! Magazine.

First of all, there are several ways this week that you can take in excellent live music while also helping out a local cause:

-Tonight, Nashville bluegrassers The Infamous Stringdusters are playing at Black Butte Ranch near Sisters. It’s only $5, and proceeds benefit the Americana Project high school songwriting class.

-Saturday night, go see Anastacia Beth Scott and Electric Sudaki at Silver Moon and support Chimps Inc., the chimp sanctuary near Tumalo.

-Next week, the local-arts festival Bend Roots Revival will be raising funds for its event, which will happen in late September. On Thursday, head to the Tulen Center and see Empty Space Orchestra, The Mostest, Leif James and Brazilian musician Marcello Bernardes, and help fund the Roots Revival, which is one of our town’s coolest cultural events.

Now let’s see, what else?

-New Orleans funk-hop quartet E.O.E. preaches unity through diversity.

-Oakland old-school rapper Too $hort is coming to Bend.

-A new nightclub, The Underground, is opening tonight in the space formerly occupied by Club 97. Local rockers El Dante are gonna open it up right.

-South African singing group Ladysmith Black Mambazo is back at the Tower Theatre, and tickets are either already gone, or very close to being gone.

-Also, the Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band is back in town, The Mostest will play Show Us Your Spokes tonight at Parrilla, and Dubious Ranger will roll into Silver Moon next week. Read about all of them here.

Click those links! If you can view the story, sweet. If not, you’ll need to subscribe to The Bulletin’s Web site or pick up a newspaper.

Frequency Radio

Monday, May 18th, 2009

on air

You may or may not have checked it out yet, but sitting over there in the sidebar to the right is a streaming music player I like to call Frequency Radio.

Over the past couple days, I added a few tracks to it, including the Mostest song and The Lonely H song you can download to your own computer here.

And now, a little bit about the other bands joining the player:

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May 15 in GO! Magazine

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Good morning, soldier! Today I submit to you yet another GO! Magazine chock full of my scribblings on music:

-Local collective The Mostest is back with a new, sort-of-live album and a world-beat-flavored lineup. Read about them here. And here’s a song from that album for your downloading pleasure (you may need to right click or control click and choose “Save Link As”):

The Mostest, “One More Wave”

-Tonight, you can see seven fine local bands for a grand total of $7. Well, $7 before food and drink and more drink. I wrote seven words about each of the bands. My favorite: “Larry and His Flask: Let yourself drown in the acoustic maelstrom.” Read the rest here.

-Students in the Sisters High School Americana Project songwriting program have completed a CD of their songs, and they’ll play those songs live on Saturday night at their school. Get the details here.

-For the penultimate time this year, I recap “American Idol.” This week: A mild shocker!

-Also on tap this week: Classic rockers The Lonely H at Players, reggae star Perfect at The Summit, and return visits by Floater, Jackstraw and Lynx and Jamie Janover.

And … oh, heck, here’s a song from The Lonely H’s upcoming album “Concrete Class” that you can download, too:

The Lonely H, “Diggin’ A Hole”

As always, not all of these articles will be available to non-subscribers (though anyone can grab the MP3s), so if you want to read everything, either subscribe online or pick up a copy of The Bulletin.