Stylishly composed grieve.

Randall Bramblett already played once in Chuck Leavell’s Sea Level, did all kinds of session work and was part of Traffic’s line-up a few years ago. Continually, jazz was not very far off in this sax player/keyboardist’s work.

On his all-in-all fourth solo disc that is also the case, but Bramblett mostly wrote atmospherical combinations of rootsy and eclectic roots music for it. Most of them, played in mid-tempo, are a combination of folk, rock and gospel. Bramblett often adds a dash of jazz to the solos, as in the stately swinging opener God Was In The Water, over which he plays a free jazz solo on baritone sax.

With friend and ex-Sea Level guitarist Davis Causey and/or Jason Slaton, Bramblett wrote hypnotising melodies, which are catchy at the same time. They are instrumented effectively but unpredictably and based on strong rhythms, while Bramblett’s hoarse vocals immediately prove the necessity of his songs. Only once does he fall into the trap of a densely strummed rock song based on a guitar riff, as a result of which it contrasts very one-dimensionally with the rest.

Thematically all songs are linked: Bramblett sings of a run-down life, in which love and ideals slipped from his grasp. Alternately resigned and hoping for better, he sees no escape anywhere, but his melancholy yields beautiful, organic music.


Published in roots music magazine Heaven no. 15, November-December 2001/no. 6