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EPK

Electronic Press Kit

INDIE MUSICIAN & VISUAL ARTIST -

BREIF BIO:

 BIO…

The Ram is an American indie songwriter from Carlsbad, California. His nickname came from local surfers and serves as the recording and performing stage name moniker of Mark Thornton ODonnell (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano, sound engineer, producer). His influences are described as classic rock, country blues, folk, Americana, roots, rhythm & blues, hip hop, and old-school Philly soul. He’s self-released 1 solo album (2020), 3 singles (2021), and a 6 song EP ( New Years Eve 2021).

He began as a visual artist and music naturally progressed. He collaborates with the local music, film, tech, and performance community. His music is more akin to theater, so artists like Beck, Tom Waits, the Grateful Dead, and Neil Young, are huge inspirations. The Robert Hunter quote that compares songwriting to capturing and releasing a wild animal may shed light on why the artists chose the Ram as a stage name.

All songs are written, produced, and tracked by the Ram in his home studio, inviting local musicians and sound engineers to collaborate when and where the song demands it. Musicians like David Ondrick, Marco Savoia, Dean Smith, Mike Pritchard, Jay Phillips, Mike Hunt, and Daniel Nielsen have contributed to releases, along with seasoned engineers like James Page, Lee Knight, Mike Butler, and Bill Skibbe. 

In my own words…

“The human voice needs little more than itself to evoke emotion. As a singer, one has to be a student of music history. You need to be able to trace contemporary storytelling back through to the early oral tradition. You need to be able to see the seeds in cinema and theater, which came from the rich history of jazz and classical music. Anything that has a groove, is gold to a singer. Even now, I’m just starting to understand how to use my voice.”

2021/22 Official Pictures -

by: Daniel R. Hernandez @drhphotosd

2019/20/21/22 Albums & Concert Poster Art

Various Artist Collaborations

INSPIRATION DRAWN FROM BOTH THE OCEAN & MOUNTAINS -

Writing music is about catching a wild animal,
then having the courage to let it go.

Nothing fires up the creative spirit more that putting oneself out there in the unknown. It’s why I surf. It’s why I make art. It’s why I perform. The mountains and & the ocean have always come to represent the spirit of the unknown. This spirit is everything: from fear to a deeper understanding of love and strength.

So many metaphors I’ve heard in relation to the act of creating music. Keith Richards once compared it to being in the middle of a river, or catching a ghost in the room. Robert Hunter best described it as hunting and capturing a wild animal for a time, studying it, then releasing it back to the wild for it to take on a life of its own. The song is there whether we write it down and perform it or not.

Catch and release.

My music influences are a continuous contradiction where opposites blur.  I’m inspired by all formats of Jazz bands (the great American art form) and the heroic stories behind the people that played Jazz in the 20th century.  I often look back to the influence Classical and world music (Africa/Cuba) had on the Jazz world, but I feel most at home with the down home Country & Blues (the soil of our farms and blood that runs in the American veins).  Just a reflection of how I was raised I guess.

Any song I’ve written can be be put to any beat depending on the musicians I’m playing with.  Nothing is ever set in stone, genres are a mechanism of control and as I said before the songs I write are wild, untamed, uncaged animals; with their own free will and their own intentions of being heard.

THE ORAL TRADITION -

Story telling is a CELEBRATION of LIFE.

The art we make needs to mean something.  I try to better understand the world around me by making soulful originals that mix Americana, Country & Blues.  Performing live, maintaining a connection to the creative process & geeking out to tech and recording is what I live for.  I spent my youth in rural Pennsylvania and where New York borders Vermont.  I took up figural drawing & painting at a young age and earned two visual arts degrees which bookmarked my time in living in NYC being an artist/playing jazz.

My writing process leverages notebooks, film, photography, and the mobile devices for getting ideas hashed out on paper and in demos.  Once the ideas are mature enough, I’ll mix them into a demo using Logic Pro.  Typically I’ll play everything except the drums, then later hand select the accompanying musicians for live shows or recording sessions.

The cast is always changing.  Each time an original song is played it’s different.

INSPIRATION DRAWN FROM BOTH THE OCEAN & MOUNTAINS -

Writing music is about catching a wild animal,
then having the courage to let it go.

Nothing fires up the creative spirit more that putting oneself out there in the unknown. It’s why I surf. It’s why I make art. It’s why I perform. The mountains and & the ocean have always come to represent the spirit of the unknown. This spirit is everything: from fear to a deeper understanding of love and strength.

So many metaphors I’ve heard in relation to the act of creating music. Keith Richards once compared it to being in the middle of a river, or catching a ghost in the room. Robert Hunter best described it as hunting and capturing a wild animal for a time, studying it, then releasing it back to the wild for it to take on a life of its own. The song is there whether we write it down and perform it or not.

Catch and release.

My music influences are a continuous contradiction where opposites blur.  I’m inspired by all formats of Jazz bands (the great American art form) and the heroic stories behind the people that played Jazz in the 20th century.  I often look back to the influence Classical and world music (Africa/Cuba) had on the Jazz world, but I feel most at home with the down home Country & Blues (the soil of our farms and blood that runs in the American veins).  Just a reflection of how I was raised I guess.

Any song I’ve written can be be put to any beat depending on the musicians I’m playing with.  Nothing is ever set in stone, genres are a mechanism of control and as I said before the songs I write are wild, untamed, uncaged animals; with their own free will and their own intentions of being heard.

So Lucky
Official Sessions Video

Enjoy the latest music video by the Ram and his creative crew.

Motor Kine
High Sierra Video

Collaboration by the Ram and Mammoth Cycle Works