The Mostest is a collective of musicians from Bend, Oregon, fronted by singer-songwriter Mark Ransom and bassist-producer Patrick Pearsall. Cultivating guitar-driven, “heavy Americana” from seeds of Southern rock, San Franciscan psychedelia, classic soul, and jazz, The Mostest’s sound emerged in an effort to fulfill its mission: “Serve the music.” Now celebrating the performance of 1000 live shows, and the release of their fourth album, Teleport People, this Bend, Oregon, original has grown up from aprés-ski roots at home and on the road.
Touring the West coast, the Northwest, and the Rocky Mountains, The Mostest has shared the stage with acts like Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Los Lobos, Melvin Seals & JGB, Greensky Bluegrass, and recently Scott Law and Rising Appalachia—supporting The Wood Brothers at the 2019 4-Peaks Music Festival.
The latest version of the band is augmented by Patrick Ondrozeck (Moog synthesizer, piano and Hammond organ) and two drummers—Jeff Ingraham (when he’s not touring with Kris Kristofferson) and the new kid in town, Dylan Bernal, who was introduced to Ingraham when the two performed together at the 2018 Bend Roots Revival. Putting it bluntly, “Jeff is the man,” says Bernal, “…super humble and an absolute beast on the drums.”
To Dylan’s point, both Pearsall and Ransom agree, Jeff is the “godfather” of The Mostest—and the man who recorded most of the drum tracks on the group’s new CD. A native of Bend who spent years on the road with Merle Haggard, he is an important figure on the local scene. “And when he’s not playing country music,” offers Ondrozeck, “he loves playing the Jerry Garcia grooves.”
Recording Teleport People over two years, while Mark worked on his master’s degree, helped “offset study stress,” and clarified the band’s line-up, which now includes Jason Jackson on trumpet and Dave van Handel on trombone—both of whom helped Pearsall arrange horns for the new CD. This driving powerhouse of funky brass, known in the Pacific Northwest as “Cutmen Horns,” brings rich, soulful timbre to The Mostest’s well-crafted songs.
“Blasts of funk and soul and jazz are tying together Mark’s folk-singer sensibilities,” says Pearsall, “Our focus is on the writing … putting the storytelling in the forefront, and supporting it with music that makes you move.” In a recent interview for the Bend Bulletin about Teleport People, Pearsall and Ransom expressed relief and excitement, realizing The Mostest isn’t calling for anything currently, just the opportunity to play music together as much as possible.