Electronic Press Kit (EPK): The Ram

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The Ram is an American indie songwriter from Carlsbad, California. His nickname came from North County San Diego 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 3 solo albums, countless singles, and a few EPs.

What began as a pursuit in visual arts, naturally progressed to music. His collaborations with local artists in music, film, and tech, are what fuels his performances. With musical performances more akin to theater, he draws inspiration from Beck, Tom Waits, the Grateful Dead, and Neil Young. 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. Over the past few years featured musicians include: David Ondrick, Dan Greenbaum, Marco Savoia, Dean Smith, Mike Pritchard, Jay Phillips, Mike Hunt, and Daniel Nielsen, along with seasoned engineers like James Page, Lee Knight, Tommy Richardson, Mike Butler, and Bill Skibbe.

The Ram: 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.”

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