The Bright Spots

Randall Bramblett

New West Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Randall Bramblett has had three distinct periods to his career. During the early 1970s he began as a session musician before issuing two solo albums. By the end of the decade, he was a member of Sea Level and then would go on to play with artists such as Robbie Robertson, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Winwood, Elvin Bishop, and Greg Allman. He also had a short stint as a part of the reformed Traffic. The last phase of his career began in 1998 with the release of the solo album, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 See Through Me for the Capricorn label. He has continued to front his own band for the past 15 years and will release his seventh album since going solo, The Bright Spots, on May 14.

Despite being born in Jessup, Georgia, and his association with the classic Capricorn label and a number of artists who came out of the southern rock vein, Bramblett is more of a soul singer than rocker. The sax and keyboards were his early instruments of choice, but now he has added the guitar to his repertoire.

He has always been able to craft a song and his lyrics can be incisive, reflective and even beautiful in places, while telling a story. “John The Baptist” with its pulsating rhythms and “Shine,” which has a church choir feel both fall within the southern gospel tradition. “Whatever That Is” flirts with the blues and allows him to show off as an instrumentalist. “’Til The Party’s All Gone” has some smooth funky rhythms while “Detox Bracelet” is a meditative and keyboard driven ballad.

Bramblett is a mature musician who has a lot of miles and songs under his belt. As such, he knows how to create and put together an album. He does not try to over-extend himself, but rather remains true to what he does best and that is to create soulful music from a southern perspective. The Bright Spots finds him in his comfort zone, which is a treat for anyone willing to give his latest album a listen.

Rating: B

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