News and reviews for Devil Music

Devil Music is a winning return for Randall Bramblett. Playing well to the veteran’s strengths, it has found a nexus between traditional and countemporary that recaps both

913674_515075608559174_924482868_ohis influence and his influences. The devil may be on his shoulder, but for this record, he’s a worthy muse.”  Larson Sutton,

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“This is music for people who like to think, and it delves the dark side of life and emotion with amazing musicianship and skill. Randall Bramblett is a genius. If you like the blues, you should get this album right away, because it explores the territory of the blues as well as anything out there right now.”  Rhetta Akamatsu, Blog Critics

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“Sometimes we can take our very best musicians for granted, and while multi-instrumentalist Bramblett is no stranger to the spotlight, with an impressive resume that stretches back to the early ‘70s and includes stints with Many People You Know, this album—his 10th–is really, unexpectedly, damn good. Soulful, bluesy—the title track takes its inspiration from the description given to Howlin’ Wolf’s by the bluesman’s mother, no less— and rocking, there are guests on board like Mark Knopfler, Derek Trucks and Chuck Leavell, but the show is entirely Bramblett’s. This is not a jam-filled ramble–it is a full-on, song-filled album that will bring you joy upon repeated plays, and it will surprise you. Theoretically.”  Dave DiMartino, Yahoo Music

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“See this guy? He’s only one of the most original and profoundly satisfying artists around today. His name is Randall Bramblett. He was in Sea Level with Chuck Leavell. He toured with Steve Winwood as his right-hand man on keyboards, saxophone and vocals for 16 years including the 1994 Traffic reunion.  “Devil’s Music” (New West Recordings), his tenth CD, was named after a chapter in the Howling Wolf biography “Moanin’ At Midnight” wherein the blues giant goes home to show his mother the success he’s had but she slams the door in his face because he plays devil’s music. His vocals throughout are electronically enhanced to convey more of the desperate anguish of his protagonists. Opener “Dead In The Water” is taken from beat novelist William S. Burroughs and his speed freak wife. “Mama’s been flying,” he sings in a distorted voice, “drinking that Benzedrine, scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush but she just can’t get it clean.” With guests Derek Trucks, Mark Knopfler and his old Sea Level mate Leavell, Bramblett has fashioned a post-Americana statement of profound proportions.”   Mike Goldblatt, Goldmine Magazine

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“Although not a blues record in any customary way, black and white human conditions rooted in the South bear extraordinary examination throughout it.  Those juxtaposing thoughts—and grooves—are just the tip of the formidable iceberg here. Mark Knopfler adds groaning guitar to the series of notions of being “Dead in the Water,” and the Rolling Stones’ Chuck Leavell rollicks on piano in the bizarre “Reptile Pilot”—the two old Sea Level bandmates having a natural ball together. Bramblett’s long association with the Allman Brothers family of players, plus Steve Winwood and Bonnie Raitt, among others, is one thing. These are the albums that demonstrate what a stupendous all-around artist he his. Written, produced, sung, and played with unique perspective and awesome pizzazz, this highly inventive Devil Music is incredibly cool to just sit back with and enjoy.”  Tom Clarke, Elmore Magazine


“Bramblett, an artist of the first degree, always seems to find a new road to travel with each successive album. “Devil Music” follows a road that comes from deep within Bramblett’s psyche.  Hansen’s production exacerbates the intensity of Bramblett’s vocals by overdriving them, giving the album a feeling of undeniable urgency and passion. Circumventing his typical catchy, infectious melodiousness for a funky raunchiness helps drive the feeling of duplicity that is life in the South, but in the music as well as the lyrics. “Devil Music” exemplifies more than ever what a significant and important musician we have in Randall Bramblett.”  Wildman Steve, The Corner News, Auburn, AL

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Devil Music, the tenth album by singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Randall Bramblett, is a dark, swampy groovefest. Its 11 songs may depict broken characters, lost causes, wandering souls, and haunted spirits, but the songwriter celebrates them for who and what they are and revels unapologetically in their flaws and triumphs. Bramblett employs a musical patchwork of contemporary sonics and rhythms to extend the margins of blues, R&B, and gospel without watering them down.”  Thom Jurek,

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“Musicians speak his name with reverence, but without a certifiable hit record among his credits, he remains consigned to the status of “best singer-songwriter you’ve never heard of.” At last, his latest, Devil Music, could change that. A mix of distorted blues and R&B and loops and swamp grit, it distills the inclinations of a man who may not have been born into the blues but who connects with them on a soul level.”  David Klein, Indy Week Raleigh, NC 

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“View any of the outstanding releases Bramblett has put his name to and you are met with a sense of elegant unease. Shoot, even the title Devil Music suggests something dark yet involving.  The music is all Muscle Shoals soul, right down to the blues laced lyrics (“Wolf cried all the way to Memphis, ’cause his mama turned him, turned him away”). But the music is just as indebted to modern loops and syncopation, which makes this blast of righteous folklore sound anything but vintage… Wrap all this up and you have a nasty little delicacy of an album from one of the most prolific and uncompromising Southern voices of our age.”   Walter Tunis, Lexington Herald Leader

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Randall Bramblett has been rocking Athens since well before its new-wave heyday, and he continues to carve out his Classic City legacy with album after stellar album of rootsy rock and roll. Bramblett’s latest release, Devil Music, features a star-studded supporting cast (Mark Knopfler, Chuck Leavell and Derek Trucks make appearances,) and is overall the songwriter’s gutsiest recording in years. The album further codifies Bramblett’s distinct Deep South groove and reminds us that’s he’s still, after all these years, one of our state’s most vital working musicians.”  Gabe Vodicka, Flagpole, Athens, GA
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“Bramblett developed a penchant for blues and R&B, a logical byproduct of his Georgia heritage. It’s a style that informs his new album, Devil Music, an archetypical set of songs that find him firmly entrenched in a sound that’s consistently unyielding and dynamically delivered. Bramblett rarely deviates from the norm, choosing instead to grind his roots with dark determination and amplify them with a surreptitious sound that hints at the strains of the Mississippi Delta. Given that approach, songs such as “Dead in the Water,” “Devil Music” and “Pride in Place” come across with both grit and a groove, darkly defiant and yet impressively authentic.”  Lee Zimmerman, Glide Magazine

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“Bramblett fashioned a career as a solo artist but also as a much sought after sideman, playing sax, guitar and keyboards with Steve Winwood, Gov’t Mule, Gregg Allman, Widespread Panic and Levon Helm. Now he’s focusing on his own work. His forthcoming Devil Music explores a place where desire and menace keep company, a prowling sound with growled vocals and ripping blues riffs. The session doesn’t sound like it’s a collection of blues retreads. Bramblett said his ear is always tuned to what’s going on now, including the beats used in hip hop music.”  David Dupont, Sentinel Tribune

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Randall Bramblett casts a wide net from a musical stand point—rock, blues, swing, jazz, soul, electronica—without seeming distracted. It is his adventurousness that keeps him especially interesting to long time listeners. Devil Music finds Randall in a decidedly bluesy vein laden with growling, groaning guitars and stories of inhabitants on the periphery of an often indifferent world.  Devil Music is just the latest jewel in the crown of Bramblett’s incredibly prolific career. To have such an extraordinary voice from the South who holds the past in reverence but is not trapped by it nor obsessed by the present or future is a true treat. Having a restless souled artist of such pedigree simply follow his muse and see where he winds up is a rewarding ride for the listener of serious grown folks music. So, I beg of you, Randall, don’t stop playing that Devil music.”  Bruce Yandle, Making A Scene!

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“A man with as much experience as he has ingenuity, Randall Bramblett has been a singer-songwriter, a session musician, and a hired gun for legends such as Gregg Allman and Steve Winwod. Bramblett’s latest release from his more than thirty years in the business, Devil Music, delivers the expected level of virtuosity, and surprises with a deep-fried, novel twist of Southern darkness…  Always surprising and impressively inventive, Devil Music is the most original, most authentic album to drop this year and an enjoyable listen for fans of jazz, soul, rock, gospel, blues, and exceptionally gifted songwriters who are re-defining the hallowed traditions of a sacred music.”   McKinnie Sizemore, Blues Rock Review                         The Review: 9/10

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News and reviews for The Bright Spots

 “The production is sumptuous. No one makes records like Randall Bramblett.” – Tom Clarke, Elmore
See full article: Elmore, July 2013 Print Edition

 “The songs of The Bright Spots are populated with saints and devils, peppered with spooky incantations that conjure swampy highways and dark water creeks. There are spirits in the water, the fields are moaning. The sense of place is so strong that it is a lively, living entity, seeping and breathing its way into each song. This produces an atmospheric, waking dream characteristic to the collection.” – Tom Speed, Honest Tune
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“Bramblett’s  becoming more well known, a situation that became especially evident when he penned the leadoff track on the last Bonnie Raitt album.   While the (Bright Spots) album’s influences can be traced easily enough, Bramblett’s songwriting isn’t steeped in nostalgia or revivalism.  In fact, for a veteran player, his approach is unflinchingly up-to-date.”  - Tony Sclafani, Hittin’ the Note
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“Georgia-born singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has energized work by Robbie Robertson, Steve Winwood and Gregg Allman; his latest solo album takes his source material — all kinds of gutbucket American music — and runs it through daring production techniques. - Jon M. Gilbertson, Milwaukee
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 “The Bright Spots is a sublime glance at how Bramblett rolls… It’s Southern. It rocks.” – Walter Tunis,
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 “The end result of all this is a cool album that combines the vibe of a real-as-hell vintage soulman with modern musical ideas. You could listen to The Bright Spots all night, baby.” - Brian Robbins,
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 “Randall Bramblett has a brand new CD out, The Bright Spots, and like everything Bramblett does it is skillful, soulful, and bound to resonate with listeners. It reflects his heartfelt and often profound songwriting as well as his roots in soul, gospel, blues, and rock… Every song was obviously written by a man who knows who he is.” – Rhetta Akamatsu, Blog Critics
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 “A jewel of Southern music, Randall Bramblett shines on his latest release, The Bright Spots, due out May 14 on New West Records. 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.” – Randy Patterson, Boomerocity
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 “The musical career of Randall Bramblett has spanned more than 35 years, but the local multi-instrumentalist and songwriter keeps stepping toward new territory with every new album. Bramblett’s latest, The Bright Spots, recorded near Athens and in Nashville and due out May 14 on New West Records, finds him in an experimental mood. An expressive and dynamic collection of blues, soul, classic pop and rock and roll, The Bright Spots touches on some of Bramblett’s usual styles, but the odd instrumentation and arrangements occasionally veer far outside of his usual comfort zone.” - T. Ballard Lesemann, Flagpole
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 “The Bright Spots illuminates the darndest things from Randall Bramblett. Diverse bits and pieces of sound come together under the soulful southern banner that trademarks the man’s work. Though happy with his Southern Rock resume, Mr. Bramblett states that “Black music is what I grew up loving and the folk scene really hit me too. So it’s a combination of Dylan and Ray Charles.” The Bright Spots shines in the glory of sunny day horns (“My Darling One”), chicken shack gut punch blues (“Whatever That Is”), swamp soul (“Trying to Steal a Minute”) and a cascade of rhythm, keyboards and airborne guitar chords (“All Is Well”). Randall Bramblett draws from long term experiences on The Bright Spots, searching through musical history back to his 1970’s work with Sea Level, 16 years with Steve Winwood and work with Gregg Allman, Govt. Mule, Levon Helm, Chuck Leavell and Widespread Panic.” - The Alternate Root
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 “If there’s a lovelier song around than this 30A Songwriters Festival veteran’s “Darling One,” I’d sure like to know about it. Elsewhere, the well-traveled Bramblett proves he’s the king of raspy-voiced singers—unlike the many youngsters that ape the style, Bramblett never makes it sound forced. And he writes better than all of them put together.” – Chris Manson
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 “He has always been able to craft a song and his lyrics can be incisive, reflective, beautiful in places, and even tell 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 overextend 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.” – David Bowling, Blog Critic
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 “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.” – The Intelligencer
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