If his career had commenced and concluded with his outstanding tenure in the legendary and highly influential rock ensemble Spirit, Mark Andes’ place as an important bassist in rock history would have been secured – but it was only the beginning. After his departure from Spirit, Mark, who is also an accomplished vocalist, moved forward to wax hits, highly acclaimed albums, and countless concert performances with Jo Jo Gunne, Firefall, Joe Walsh, Stevie Nicks, Dan Fogelberg, Ian Matthews, Jim Lauderdale, and Heart during their 1980s commercial and artistic resurgence, among others. Andes’ ability to render melodic bass parts which settle deep in the pocket is uncanny: most bassists are fortunate to excel in either camp, but Andes can do it all.
Every Spirit album with Mark is essential. I particularly enjoy his work on Alejandro Escovedo’s extraordinary 2006 release The Boxing Mirror, produced by another noted bassist, John Cale. Andes’ bass artistry on Alejandro’s masterpiece reaches out of the speakers and grabs the listener! I met Mark during my time with Joan Myers Media while he was a member of Americana singer/songwriter Kelly Willis’ touring band. A more charming and modest artist of stature you cannot not find. Spirit’s recognition in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as recording artists, writers, innovators, and influencers is long overdue.