DarielB – Flying Under the Radar

SxSE Brings Randall Bramblett To Train Depot March 6

Posted in Live Performance Previews/Reviews by darielb on February 26, 2010

Randall Bramblett, 2010 (Photo Jeff Jeffares)

If you missed Randall Bramblett opening for Bonnie Raitt  this past October at the House of Blues or his headline act at the historic Train Depot in Myrtle Beach last spring, you’re in luck.

South By Southeast is bringing the uber-talented multi-instrumentalist and his legendary  five-piece band back to the beach for another rockin’ party at the Depot on March 6.

Don’t tell me … you’ve never heard of him.

Randall Bramblett has become famous for being unknown – except among industry insiders.

He may not be a staple on your AM radio dial, or even your favorite FM show, but he is acclaimed throughout the music industry as an accomplished singer/songwriter, a talented keyboard player, guitarist and saxophonist.

During the early part of his career, he played with Cowboy, Allman Brothers and Sea Level. More recently, he’s toured with Widespread Panic, Traffic and Steve Winwood. He’s had songs recorded by  the likes of Rick Nelson, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton and Chuck Leavell.

His praises have been sung loudly by some of rock’s finest. “Randall is the most talented and prolific songwriter I have the privilege of knowing,” said R.E.M.’s Bill Berry.  Dave Schools with Widespread Panic calls him “one of Georgia’s musical treasures…” Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones/Allman Brothers) goes even further: “Randall is, in my opinion, one of the most gifted and talented southern singer-songwriter musicians of the past several decades.”

These days, Bramblett tours with his own Randall Bramblett Band. Whenever Bonnie Raitt plays the south, she calls Randall to come and play some dates with her.

Growing up  in Jesup, Ga., he’s got soul music in his genes, R&B  under his skin and a hero in James Brown, so he’s a perfect fit for Raitt’s soulful, swamp-lickin’ rockin’ blues.

Release date for The Meantime by Randall Bramblett is March 9, 2010.

Bramblett is about to release his eighth solo CD, The Meantime (Blue Ceiling Records 2010).  The new recording is something of a departure for the rocker, although he’s quick to tell me it doesn’t represent a whole new direction for him; it was “just a way to get these songs out there.”

In a telephone interview last week, Bramblett said, “The new record is with the trio, not the full band. It’s quiet … spacy … not a party thing. It came to me working in the studio on a grand piano. All these songs came to me and I realized I could record songs that I couldn’t really do with the band. There’s a romantic quietness, a subtlety not possible with the band … not romantic in the love sense, but in a classical sense.

“It turned out to be very difficult because you’re so vulnerable … you hear everything … if one little piece is out of tune, you hear it.

“It’s sparse, lots of space. I’m very pleased.”

On the CD, Randall is accompanied by his drummer and producer for his last album, Gerry Hansen,  and on upright bass, Chris Enghauser, known for his work with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Roy “Futureman” Wooten’s “Roy-El Phi-Harmonics Orchestra” and Nashville’s Badabing Badaboom.

So, I wanted to know, is the SxSE show at the Depot going to be mellow or blow the roof off the place?

“This is a full-band thing. We’re going to rock!” promises Bramblett.

The five-piece band includes Bramblett (guitar, keyboard, saxophone); Bramblett’s longtime collaborator Davis Causey (guitar); Gerry Henson (drums); Mike Hines (guitar); and Michael C. Steele (bass guitar).

If you’re not already signed up, you’ll want to shoot an email off right now to southbysoutheast@aol.com and ask them to put you on the reservations list. I promise you, this show by the man no one’s ever heard of, is going to be sold out before performance day.

The opening act is national Americana artist Stoll Vaughan, who is so interesting that I have to write another story about him. But if you loved the early days of Springsteen, you’ll love Stoll Vaughan.

Vaughan goes on at 7 p.m. Randall Bramblett Band will take the stage at 8 p.m. The Music Feast   starts at 6 p.m. Dinner, desserts, wine, brews, Pepsi and bottled water are free. It’s potluck, so bring something if you’re so inclined.

Tickets are $20 for members and $25 if you haven’t joined yet. Visit http://www.sxsemusic.com for more information.  (This would be a great time to make a donation or join SxSE in honor of former director Jeff Roberts, who passed away on Jan. 11. Just sayin’.)

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