Magic Turtle Music

February, 2006; Bend, Oregon

Champion Of Mystery is the first “concept” record and fourth full-length CD release from Bend, Oregon songwriter Mark Ransom. “I didn’t realize it in the beginning but as we got further into the project I saw there was a real story in theses songs…” says Ransom of his latest creative endeavor.

The new project is a fable told in prose on the inside cover of the CD digi-pak, a collection of twelve new songs (and one revisited) from Ransom, and a twelve-page booklet of lyrics and original artwork that help bring legend to life. It is the tale of Willy Bova: a modern myth figure, his exile/escape from mid-western America, the road to his enlightenment, persecution and survival in the high-country of the West.

The feel of this disc is organic and groovy. However, there is more emphasis here on funkiness from the rhythm section than in any of Ransom’s previous work. Of this more “dance-mix” vibe Mark notes “We got Nick Papa from the band Hydroponic to do the drum tracks just before he went off to college. He was barely eighteen and totally full of restless energy. I think this foundation gave [Ramshackle bassist] Tyler [Mason] something really fun and inspiring to lock-on to.”

There are also several songs running longer than five minutes—not exactly what corporate radio may be looking for. Nevertheless, says Ransom “Lots of folks see me and my acoustic guitar up there doing a folk-pop thing. But I’m really more jam-band than that. There is nothing more fulfilling to me than playing electric guitar in a band to a house-full of dancing hippies. On this CD I tried to evoke that as much as possible.”

Despite Ransom’s allegiance to counter-culture genres, Champion Of Mystery transcends hippy-rock and jam-band. Jazz overtones and Ransom’s folk-rock sensibilities make this record sophisticated and simple—while the vocal and keyboard work of Colleen Cordis (Bluesberry Jam/Magic Turtle Band) accentuates Mark’s melodies and fattens the choruses.

Ransom credits Cordis as being “musically visionary,” and co-creator of Champion. “Colleen has the most amazing ear for harmonies. She hears things in her mind’s ear and can sing them without thinking… This CD is about honoring and accepting the Great Mystery, the yin and the yang, the masculine and feminine, and Colleen gets that on a soul-level. What more could you want from the best ‘…ooo, ooo’ girl in Bend, Oregon?”

Champion of Mystery will be available at record stores and on the web February 23rd, with a CD release party to follow on Saturday, February 25th featuring Mark’s band RAMSHACKLE and special guest Colleen Cordis. The show will be at the Bend Brewing Company downtown Bend. Showtime: 8 PM. All ages until 10 PM.

Check for more information and a complete list of performance dates.

CONTACT: Goodwitch Entertainment
(541) 390-2940

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