Randall Bramblett - The Bright Spots 180g Vinyl LP (Out Of Stock)
Randall Bramblett The Bright Spots 180g Vinyl LP
A jewel of Southern music, Randall Bramblett shines on his latest New West Records release, The Bright Spots. Fresh off the inclusion of one of his songs on Bonnie Raitt’s Grammy-winning album Slipstream, he has put together a masterful recording soaked with the soulful feel that has defined his music and that of his Southern contemporaries like Gregg Allman and Warren Haynes. From Howlin’ Wolf to Ray Charles and “dark Motown” influences, sitar samples, gospel strains and even a snippet of water splashing pygmies, The Bright Spots mixes diverse elements that dovetail into Randall’s finest album yet.
Although sometimes associated with the Southern rock scene built around the ’70s-’80s Capricorn label’s core, Randall has never identified with that sound. “Black music is what I grew up loving and the folk scene really hit me too,” he says. “So it’s a combination of Dylan and Ray Charles.” Elements of pop, soul, blues, and the sounds of the church combine with Randall’s often wistful, beautifully conceived lyrics on these dozen ruminative, roots-based tunes. His lyrical strength is mixing unusual thematic concepts with dry humor. That helps explain the album’s upbeat title. “In almost every song there is darkness, yet some thread of humor. The irony of the bright spots is that there is a lot of hurt in these songs and there are the bright spots too. It’s pain and joy simultaneously. There are gifts of desperation.”
Having a surfeit of original material to choose from, and highly creative, imaginative musicians in both Nashville and Athens to flesh out the tracks and mold them into bold, soulful statements also helped. “I had 18-20 songs and chose the best 12. As you start recording, you get a feel for where the record is going and it starts to have a life of its own. I have a lot of different styles I can do...I like variety but it shouldn’t sound like it’s arbitrary.” As in the past, Bramblett’s dusky, soulful voice and sympathetic backing is unified by the sharp production of veteran shotgun-riding drummer Gerry Hansen. He effortlessly ties the somewhat disparate elements that include short bits of African pygmy children splashing water, and the occasional R&B horn section, together into a cohesive set.
The self-effacing artist downplays his previous sideman status, yet is grateful for valuable lessons gained from his work with Gregg Allman (“I learned about organ, vocals and drama through the bluesiness and dynamics of his playing”), watching The Band’s Levon Helm (“his joy of playing freed me up”) and Steve Winwood (“he taught me a lot about organ and melody, working out details and how to create the background beds he was so good at”).
Overall The Bright Spots is steeped in soul with a modern edge. “I didn’t want to make a retro record. I like doing something different every time,” he says. Randall Bramblett continues to push the envelope of his Southern soul into areas that further illuminate his past, while expanding and nudging his roots into the future. The music reflects “a lot of angst, salvation and redemption but it all comes from my experiences,” he concludes. “It’s an honest album that has heart.” Vinyl also includes MP3 download card.
Randall Bramblett The Bright Spots Track Listing:
2. Every Saint
3. ‘Til The Party’s All Gone
4. My Darling One
5. Whatever That Is
6. John The Baptist
8. Trying To Steal A Minute
9. Detox Bracelet
10. You Bring Me Down
11. All Is Well
12. Rumbling Bridge
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