Faith in music

NANAIMO: Singer draws on church and family for concert promoting new album.

Valerie Ransom performs with the producer of her album

Valerie Ransom performs with the producer of her album

Valerie Ransom was at a crossroad in her life.

The Nanaimo singer’s passion for music kept calling her to pursue her dream and her love of family made her wonder if it was time to consider having another child.

After singing the song Blessings for her church one day, Ransom was inspired to take a long shot and e-mail her idol Gordon Mote, a country and gospel musician, about her music and advice on where to send a demo of her work. Ransom didn’t think she would get a reply for months, but when she woke up the next morning Mote had replied.

“I was shocked and couldn’t believe it. I thought I would hear from him in a couple months. I didn’t expect anything,” said Ransom.

Mote earned eight nominations from the Academy of Country Music for piano/keyboard player of the year and received the award in 2009 and 2011. He has played on various top 10 country albums, lending his talent to albums by Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum and Blake Shelton.

Mote is also a producer. In his reply, Mote asked Ransom for her demo. She didn’t even have a demo.

Ransom quickly recorded four songs at a local studio and sent them to Nashville. Soon her long-shot chance was leading her to Nashville to record her first album with Mote. The experience of stepping into the studio was scary and cool all at the same time, she said.

“It was surreal and a dream,” said Ransom about the opportunity.

The result was Ransom’s debut album By Faith. She describes it as a mix of southern gospel and West Coast feel, with a lot of squeeze box accordion that gives it a folk flavour.

“It’s steeped in Nashville but it’s got my own Island flavour to it,” she said.

Ransom’s love of music started in her infancy. Her mother, Heather, would bring Ransom to church and let her sing.

“I’ve been singing in church since literally I could speak. Music was in my life, always. I literally couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” she said. “For me it’s all about my faith, that’s the driving force of my music.”

Without her faith and the support of family, friends and the community Ransom said she wouldn’t be where she is now. When she performed, people would encourage her to continue reaching for her musical aspirations.

“These positive comments, they affirm you as you continue on your journey,” she said.

Mote is performing in Nanaimo Saturday (Sept. 22) at the First Baptist Church and Ransom will join him on stage. Ransom’s debut album will also be for sale at the concert.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, located at 1650 Waddington Rd. Tickets are $20 and available at the Quilted Duck, the church and at the door.

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