Randall Bramblett at Riverside Park in Roswell, Free Concert & Picnic followed by dancing at Pastis (live band)
Join Celebrate Atlanta for a free concert & picnic at Riverside Park, Roswell along the banks of the Chattahoochee River as we enjoy the sounds of the Randall Bramblett and enjoy a pot luck picnic. After the concert, let's make the short trek to downtown Roswell to dance the night away to live music at Pastis. The concert begins at 7 so be there by 6:30.
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.
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. “Some of the words come from dreams. I do meditations in the morning and write in a journal,” he says. 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.”
That takes the form of the lowdown “Whatever That Is,” his most overtly blues composition, and the sing-along gospel of “Shine,” which sports an anthemic chorus different from anything Bramblett has previously written. “I’ve tried to push the boundaries, but we always follow the song and see what it needs. If the song doesn’t like something, it will tell you.”
With five songs recorded in Nashville and seven more tracked with his long time touring band on his home turf in Athens, GA, the multi-instrumentalist (guitar, keyboards, woodwinds) says his ninth studio release was the easiest and most organic to record. “It felt good and went quickly,” he explains. “It just fell together easily compared to my other records. We did not obsess about this one. A lot of it is live in the studio; we didn’t do a lot of takes or overdubs either.”
Perhaps that’s because the songs come from the experiences accumulated during his extensive career, starting in the ’70s as a member of the jazzy Southern band Sea Level. Add to that a far-reaching resume of work with artists such as Steve Winwood (for 16 years), Gregg Allman, Chuck Leavell, Levon Helm, Widespread Panic, and Gov’t Mule, and the touchstones of Randall’s music emerge. “All these songs came from my life, just feeling that I’m getting a little older and trying to squeeze out a little more time or creativity before it’s too late.”
So join Celebrate Atlanta for another night of great music, food, dancing and great friends under the stars at Riverside Park in Roswell, along the banks of the Chattahoochee River (while there, enjoy a relaxing walk along the trails the follow the river).
After the concert then join us at Pastis as we continue the night of great live music and dancing at Pastis.