Randall Bramblett and the band are busy Macon music the old fashioned way, and were in Macon at the 550 Blues doing just that last weekend. The celebrities in the audience added to the buzz, and Bramblett was brilliant.
Ah…Macon, GA…brilliant music, marvelous people, a city that historically demands the best from musicians, and…Did I mention Mamma Louise’s smothered chicken, and apple cobbler? Sakes alive, you couldn’t shut my mouth if you had to.
If Macon is the city that demands the best of its musicians, than Randall Bramblett is the musician that demands the best of his audience…without a doubt. People don’t go to one of Randall’s shows to catch-up on the latest back porch gossip. Randall’s music is so engaging, and his lyrics so multi-layered that one would think that they have been invited to a graduate workshop in lyrics and composition at High Harmony University, and Randall’s out front, lecturing. Supporting the brilliant music and vivid lyrics, Randall has put together a group of incredibly talented, topnotch musicians—some old friends like Davis Causey who is a master of slide and lead guitar dating from Randall’s SeaLevel days, and some new young fire breathing dragons—Mike Steel on foundation shaking bass, Mike Hines on silky smooth lead guitar, and wild-man Gary Hensen on spine-shattering drums and percussion—together they make-up the Randall Bramblett band. They are not to be taken lightly, and they are not to be missed. No one at the packed 550 Blues took them lightly on Friday night…and there were some folks in the audience who are not easily impressed.
Randall, and the band rattled the rafters in the 550, playing such a variety of interesting music that it boggles the mind—not a weak song in the mix—each one outshining the last, and each full of heartfelt soul. The band quickly flooded club with a frenzy that spilled out from the stage into the audience, touching everyone. These guys hustle; hard-selling every tune, and when they left the stage for a break, they were all soaked in sweat…looking for towels, and a change of shirt. After a few quiet minutes, and a few waters, the band was ready to push the music up to the next level. Smiling, Mike Steel stopped on his way to the stage, and bubbled, “What a great night, Man, Gregg Allman is going to open the next set with us!” With that Randall and the band climbed on the express elevator, taking the music into the eye of the storm, pumping out bluesy, jazzy versions of Key to the Highway, One Way Out, and Rock Me Baby, with Gregg Allman on vocals and keyboard.
By now the crowd had swallowed the dance floor, and was encroaching on the stage, leaving the only decent place to watch, either in the front row, or by standing on the bar, as several smiling ladies discovered. Gregg was in top form, sounding strong and energized with these honestly hardworking, appreciative, hungry guys grinding the music out behind him. It seems odd that the Randall Bramblett Band not opening for the Allman Brothers Band, but the logic that drives the business of music these days sometimes defies common sense. After Gregg finished his three songs, Randall took back the stage, and played a half dozen cuts from his new CD that is slated to be released in July. Watch out for “Where Are You Now” and “Beautiful Blur” when the new CD is released, but as with all of Randall’s music, it’s all good. And it’s all interesting.
During the show at the 550 Blues a man asked me, and rightly so, “Does Randall and the band play like this every night, or is it because of all of the “celebrities” in the audience?” It was a fair question, and the answer, from my experience, is YES…ABSOLUTELY! I’ve been fortunate enough to hear the Randall Bramblett band play to a crowd of not forty people before, filling up their three hour set with the same house-rocking, earth-shattering, towel-begging music. Forty people, or four hundred, the band plays every night like their careers depend on every show. Why? I believe that they do it because they absolutely love the hell out of what they are doing, and they believe, to the man that the music that they are playing is important music. You know—I believe that they are right.
Give either Thin Places or No More Mr. Lucky, Randall’s two newest CD’s a listen, or go to My Space where you can listen to, or download a few “live” cuts recorded at the Georgia Theater. I think that you will agree…Randall Bramblett is Macon music the old fashioned way!