The soulful roots-rocker RANDALL BRAMBLETT returns to Greenville on May 26th with a show at DR. MAC ARNOLD’S BLUES RESTAURANT!

On a packed concert schedule that’s so far included GEOFF ACHISON, ELI COOK and JL FULKS, Dr. Mac Arnold has added a true giant and favorite of ours, Mr. RANDALL BRAMBLETT! Click HERE for ticket info!

Randall Bramblett’s distinguished body of work is defined by a triple threat career as an acclaimed solo artist, an in-demand songwriter and a first call sideman. Among the artists who’ve recorded and performed Bramblett’s songs are Bettye LaVette, Hot Tuna, Delbert McClinton and most notably, Bonnie Raitt, who opened her 2014 Grammy winner, Slipstream, with one of his songs. In the ’70s he was a member of the seminal jazz/rock group Sea Level and as a sideman has toured with Gregg Allman, Widespread Panic and Levon Helm. Steve Winwood was such a fan of Bramblett’s keyboard, sax and vocal performances that he made Bramblett his go-to tour mate for 16 years, including the ’94 Traffic reunion.

But it’s Bramblett’s own career as frontman where his artistry is in full display. His experience as a band leader reaches back to his high school days in the railroad junction town of Jesup, Georgia, where Bramblett couldn’t help but absorb the field-rooted melodies and steel-wheeled rhythms he heard all around him. He fell in love with soul and R&B early, and was so attracted to the family piano that his parents let him start lessons at age 4 (his dad built extensions so he could reach the pedals). Guitar and sax came next and Bramblett began playing professionally while still in junior high. By the time he entered high school he was singing Temptations, Otis Redding and James Brown covers in a soul-funk band.

In college he also started writing songs, influenced by Dylan and North Carolina native James Taylor. Moving to Athens, Georgia after graduation, he landed in the Capricorn Records house band and toured with Gregg Allman. In 1975 and ’76 he released his first two solo albums on Polydor. Shortly after he joined forces with Chuck Leavell and Sea Level.

His latest New West release, the dark, Southern, soul-drenched Devil Music, is his sixth for the label and the tenth of his career. Like his others, it features compelling, unusually arranged melodies coupled with thoughtful, deftly worded lyrics.

The new recording features guitarist Derek Trucks whose dirtied-up slide counterpoints Bramblett’s falsetto in “Angel Child,” and keyboardist and fellow Sea Level alum, Chuck Leavell, who adds serious boogie to the witty “Reptile Pilot.” The guitar master, Mark Knopfler also makes a guest appearance and adds significantly on “Dead in the Water”—a swampy gem which definitely belongs on the soundtrack to an HBO series.

“When I wrote ‘Devil Music’ about Howlin’ Wolf’s meeting with his estranged mother, I knew I had the feel and the heart of the record.  Songs like ‘Dead in the Water,’ ‘Whiskey Headed Woman’ and “Bottom of the Ocean” all sprang from the tug-of-war between blues and religion, salvation and damnation,” says Bramblett. “The overdriven vocal sound we used helped bring home the pain and defiance we wanted on these songs. The way I’m singing is more intense. The songs have this fundamental power that I just needed to express.”

In many songs, he says, “lost characters” abound. Some appear in the album opener and title track, while the aforementioned “Dead in the Water” was inspired by William S. Burroughs and his speed-freak wife (“scrubbin’ the floor with a toothbrush/but she just can’t get it clean”).

“It’s a picture of being stuck, whether it’s addiction or crime,” Bramblett explains. “There’s no resolution; you’re just dead in the water.”

The protagonist in “Angel Child” comically tries to lure a lover into the seedy web of his broken down life while the character in “Bottom of the Ocean” dreams of escape. These songs gain further impact from their construction and many are built around a single chord.

“Several of them are basically field songs where you’re coming down on the one like you’re chopping stuff, and you just stay there,” continues Bramblett. “The rest of the interest comes out of the ambient sounds, the lyrics and the inspiration of the players. The effect is trancelike; it pulls you in.”

Michael Rhodes who has played on most of Randall’s solo work helped arrange a series of sessions in Nashville at Sound Stage Studios with Chuck Ainlay, Ed Cherney, Elliot Scheiner, Frank Filopetti and George Massenburg.

“It was a fabulous experience working with these guys and they couldn’t have been more fun and supportive.  My long time band mates, Davis Causey, Nick Johnson, Michael Steele and Gerry Hansen all came up from Athens to make this record,” recounts Bramblett. “We turned the place into a juke joint!  Seth Hendershot, Tom Ryan and Kevin Hyde joined us to finish up overdubs at Gerry’s studio in Lawrenceville, Georgia.”

“I’m pullin’ from a deep well on this album,” Bramblett concludes. “It’s my experience of black and white culture in the south, and how it feels to grow up here with all the religion and pain and conflict and joy—and then there’s all that dancing…”

Horizon’s got the cure for your Randall Bramblett itch with CD’s and vinyl LP’s galore!

 
 

  • Marantz TT1060 semi-automatic turntable
    Here’s a nice entry level table that will severely outperform any newer table even close to it’s price point. The Marantz TT1060 is a semi-automatic table which means the tonearm will return to rest at the end of play. […]
  • Technics TT SL 1800 turntable
    Technics SL-1800 full manual direct drive turntable, circa 1977. This table is a heavy beast with a very strong motor. A new stylus has been installed on the Stanton cartridge and sounds fantastic. All tonearm features have been set correctly and the stylus tracks at a recommended 3 grams […]
  • Realistic Lab 430 Direct Drive Turntable
    Very nice inexpensive table with the benefit of direct drive (no belts to change) and auto return. The table has been thoroughly gone through and all features work as they should. A new elliptical stylus has been mounted on the Shure cartridge and balanced correctly. […]
  • Sonamp 260 from SONANCE
    Soooo nice! This super nice, modestly priced 100 watt per channel power amp has been all checked out and works great. It’s cost effective way to run lots of power! […]
  • Technics SL-210 full manual turntable
    The table has been thoroughly inspected and gone through with all features working correctly. This is a full manual table, simply turn the table on and move the stylus to the record surface, no auto features to adjust or be concerned with. The new stylus sounds great, is readily available and super affordable. A nice survivor from 1978! […]
  • SANSUI FR-D35 SEMI-AUTOMATIC DIRECT TURNTABLE
    A new stylus has been installed on the vintage AT cartridge and all features of the table work perfectly! […]
  • EPI A110 SPEAKERS: 2-way, classic bookshelf charmers! Sound great, woofers rebuilt like new!
    2-way, classic bookshelf charmers! Sound great, woofers rebuilt like new. Circa 1980’s Epicure Productions vintage feature 8”woofers. Critically acclaimed in their day and still sound good, audiophile delivery without the high dollar price. Full-on ready, great sound, woofers rebuilt like new! […]
  • TASCAM 102 CASSETTE DECK!
    So fresh and so clean! This deck is in great shape and sounds like a champ. Bust out those old bootlegs and mixed tapes. […]
  • VINTAGE RARE SAE MARK XXXI SOLID STATE STEREO POWER AMPLIFIER WORKS GREAT! SOUNDS GREAT!
    Unit is in really nice physical condition. Recently gone through, tested and checked, all functions have been tested and work great! ready to rock with a pre-amp! […]
  • ADVENT LAUREATE Mini Tower Speakers
    amazing sound, brilliant natural refined listening experience. woofers on both speakers just completely rebuilt better than new! The Advents, both large and small, sounded pretty good and gave excellent value for the money. The company was one of a long string of companies that descended from the original Acoustic Research (AR). Advents eventually lost their enormous popularity and nearly faded away. International Jensen, a company based in the Chicago suburbs, rescued Advent and resurrected it. The Advent model we tested deserves a Ph.D. Advent appropriately names it the Laureate. The Laureate overwhelmed my skepticism that a modestly priced floor-standing loudspeaker could deliver good sound […]
  • SANSUI SR-525 DIRECT DRIVE TURNTABLE
    Excellent working and sounding Sansui SR-525 full manual direct drive turntable. A new stylus has been installed, and the cartridge has been properly aligned in the headshell according to Sansui specifications. This is a very heavy table with great Sansui build quality. […]
  • YAMAHA NATURAL SOUND A-700 INTEGRATED STEREO AMPLIFIER
    A classic “hoss” circa 1983/84. 100 watts per channel! Has phono input. […]
  • Fisher REC 727 AV Receiver
    This Fisher A/V receiver has phono input, remote and 200 watts! Fire it up bro! […]
  • Marantz REC SR 225
    This super vintage budget receiver is the perfect starter unit for someone wanting to explore the world of hi fidelity sounds. It’s been all checked out and has a clean bill of health; and with phono input so it’s good to go with any classic turntable. […]
  • Sansui SPEAKERS SP 2000
    These Sansui SP-2000 speakers from the 70s are some awesome vintage rockers! These big boys have a four way/six driver configuration plus a bass port. They have been tested and sound great. […]
  • BOZAK CS4000 mod speakers, omg!! these big-boys ROCK!
    8 tweeters, 1 midrange and 2 woofers per. all original, very clean. extremely rare and VERY AMAZING sound! […]
  • BOSE 901 SERIES V SPEAKERS WITH BOSE 901 SERIES V ACTIVE EQUALIZER
    The essentially crossoverless design gives the 901 an unmistakable coherence, the model’s greatest strength. Its incredibly wide dispersion comes in a close second. The Bose 901s sound great anywhere in the room, After extensive listening, the Bose 901s strike me as being damn good. They have some limitations, but don’t all $1,400 speakers? For that matter, what $10,000 speakers are perfect? They are so smooth and musical. […]
  • Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers, 2 way plus bass port
    You can enlarge your sound while shrinking the speakers with a reliable bookshelf system. The Polk Audio T15 speakers can blend into the background while delivering impressive tone quality. It can be a superior system that offers balanced drivers and tweeters for a wide response with low distortion. […]
X