My Ten Minutes with Mason Ramsey

By Scott Martin

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image via the jefferson

I was sitting on the porch of an old wooden house that appeared to be in the middle of nowhere. Stretched out before me was a desert so devoid of life, not even a cactus dared to grow. I felt my stomach collapse and my heart began to pound. I was falling, and falling fast. Out of the desert came a voice. “Come find me.” I woke up in a cold sweat. This was Monday morning.

I spent the entire day thinking about that dream. Where was I? Whose voice was that? Where do I have to go? These questions were still in my mind as I spoke to my editor about different shows coming up in College Park. She listed a number of acts, but nothing was really biting. I was ready to leave when she spoke those words that would change my life forever: “Oh yeah, that yodel kid is coming to Milkboy.” Every hair on my body perked up at once. For an instant, I was back on that farmhouse where I first heard that voice. I didn’t know why, but my gut was telling me to go see Mason Ramsey, and I just couldn’t say no.

Fast forward to Saturday evening. As I was filtered into Milkboy Arthouse I began to have second thoughts. The excitement of the crowd didn’t match the uneasiness and doubt I was feeling. What was I doing there? I’m not an avid country listener, going out of my way to avoid the pop-driven music that Mason has thrived on. But my gut told me to press on, and I did.

I entered the crowd while the first opener was on. I quickly found a glass of water and a place to sit where I could nurse the migraine that had been developing since the moment I stepped onto Route One. The country-pop duo onstage didn’t have much to offer me, so I spent some time observing the crowd. An overwhelming majority of the people here were white UMD students, dressed to the nines with plastic cowboy hats and flannels.

Everybody seemed to be having a good time, save the few kids and parents that did not expect to be met with this type of crowd. For every sad ten year old covering their ears in an attempt to escape the noise, there were 20 business majors passing around a single juul cart. I found myself sympathizing with these children who didn’t at all know what they got themselves into.

My confusion only grew during the second act, in which a bearded man with an acoustic guitar sang songs about getting drunk and blacking out. This isn’t an uncommon scene in music today, except when you consider that he was opening for twelve-year-old who sings in the style of Hank Williams. The singer finished his set just as my patience was wearing thin.

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Fifteen minutes later and the tension in the room is unbearable. Chants of “Mason” break out every few minutes, with no sign of boy we were here to see. Finally, AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” began to play, and I knew that shit was about to go down. The band begins to play but I can’t see Mason. After about a minute the crowd explodes as his boots hit the stage. I was left confused, staggering, trying to see over the crowd with my 5’8” frame. I moved all over, but I just couldn’t see him. I began to doubt what I was doing, and why I was there in the first place. When I was finally ready to give up and go home, the sea of people in front of me parted directly down the middle, and all I could see was a bright white light getting stronger and stronger. I could feel my body begin to fall, but I couldn’t do anything to stop it.

After a second of darkness, I opened my eyes to find me back on the farmhouse from my dream. But instead of a desert as far as the eye could see, there were immense fields of gold and green. Packed with life like the garden of Eden, the landscape made me feel like I was home. As I looked out from the house, I heard a voice beside me.

“I got a feelin' called the blues, oh, Lord
Since my baby said goodbye
Lord, I don't know what I'll do
All I do is sit and sigh, oh, Lord”

I looked to my left and there he was: Mason Ramsey. He looked different, nearly 20 years older. But I knew that voice. That feeling in my gut that guided me the whole way was telling me that I was in the right place. Mason looked at me, smiled, and told me “This’ll all make sense one day.”

We talked for what felt like hours. He knew things about my life that I didn’t know myself. He told me things about the future. He told me where we were all destined to go, but not how we were going to get there. I begged him, implored him to tell me what his plan was for me. He just chuckled and said “Go to where it all began. Find the twelve sisters. You’ll know what to do from there.” In the blink of an eye, I was outside of Milkboy, covered in sweat with tears streaming down my face. I checked my phone. Only ten minutes had passed. This was two hours ago.

I don’t know what I’m going to do now, or where this is going to take me. I’ve packed a small suitcase and booked a one-way bus ticket to Nashville. If all goes according to plan, you will not hear from me for quite some time. But don’t worry. This’ll all make sense one day.