MICHAEL MCDONALD, JEFF BRIDGES AND SOUND ENGINEER CHRIS PELONIS
FORM NEW RECORD LABEL

MICHAEL MCDONALD TO RELEASE 'OBSESSION BLUES,'
HIS FIRST ALBUM IN SEVEN YEARS
AND
JEFF BRIDGES' DEBUT ALBUM 'BE HERE SOON'
BOTH SLATED FOR FEBRUARY RELEASE;

MCDONALD TO BE HONORED WITH YAMAHA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSICAL
EXCELLENCE AWARD AT FEBRUARY 4 ALL-STAR CONCERT
HOSTED BY BRIDGES


A return to the days of the small boutique, indie label has produced RAMP RECORDS, the exciting new company co-founded by singer/songwriter MICHAEL MCDONALD, actor, musician and artist JEFF BRIDGES and producer, songwriter and studio designer CHRIS PELONIS. RAMP is the result of a need to fill the ever-widening gap created by the major labels' inability to service the industry and music audience on a certain level that has always captured the imagination of eclectic, artistic tastes. "Our marketing efforts will be grassroots at best," says PELONIS. "We're approaching this with the idea of seeing how far we can go on our own resources, in our efforts to create a word-of-mouth buzz, through traditional print, Internet access and broadcast media. Our hope is that in addition to our promotional attempts, the music's own merit will bring some form of radio along. As idealistic as that sounds, much of the industry was founded on similar principles." Along with a traditional retail distribution through Chicago Records, RAMP RECORDS also has a strong Internet presence.

The Santa Barbara, California based label will officially launch on February 21 with the release of BLUE OBSESSION, the first MCDONALD album in seven years and BRIDGES' debut album BE HERE SOON, which is also available for pre-release via his website at www.jeffbridges.com. A free download of one of the tunes is also available on his website.

Together with the release of his new CD, MCDONALD is being honored during this year's winter NAMM show, where he'll receive the Yamaha Lifetime Achievement In Musical Excellence Award. The NAMM Millennium Concert, hosted by JEFF BRIDGES, will take place on February 4 in Los Angeles at the Shrine Auditorium. This all-star concert will feature special performances by the Doobie Brothers (with MCDONALD), the great Ray Charles, Christopher Cross, James Ingram, Patti LaBelle, Kenny Loggins, Edwin McCain, Boz Scaggs, SheDaisy, Steve Winwood, members of Toto (David Paich, Steve Porcaro) and many others.

RAMP co-founder JEFF BRIDGES says: "I don't think our label will specialize in any one type of music, but will evolve into an eclectic roster of artists. MCDONALD adds, "This label and many like it are the result of so many artists feeling the need for this industry to re-invent itself. Not unlike FM radio
in the sixties, the Internet could become the free airwave of this generation and the new small independent labels could just be responsible for bringing the same kind of unique, organic talent to the public's attention that labels like Sun, Scepter, Chess and Stax-Volt were able to do."

MCDONALD's BLUE OBSESSION is his most R&B effort to date, featuring original compositions like "All I Need," "The Meaning of Love" and "Obsession Blues." The album seems to chronicle the challenges, triumphs, and hopes of a singer-songwriter performing at the top of his game. BLUE OBSESSION also features soulful interpretations of Neil Young's "Down by the River" and Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar."

BRIDGES' BE HERE SOON pulls from so many traditional, faintly familiar and ethnic sensibilities only to result in something very different. Six of the album's compositions were penned by BRIDGES. The others were written by Nashville songwriter John Goodwin, who has the admiration of all three RAMP RECORDS partners.

The concept of RAMP RECORDS started in a spontaneous moment when MCDONALD and PELONIS discussed the idea at a sacred surf spot in Central California that the three haunt together and individually from time to time. "While working on JEFF's project, we decided it was a valid direction to take, given our options," recalls MCDONALD. "I'd known CHRIS for a lot of years and I met JEFF through CHRIS on a surf trip out to his ranch. The next time we met was when CHRIS enlisted my help in recording JEFF's demos, which became Masters, which became the founding of a label."