First Appeared at The Music Box, March 2004, Volume 11, #3
Written by John Metzger
For the past 25 years, Randall Bramblett has operated well below the mainstream radar. Despite high profile gigs supporting the likes of Gregg Allman, Widespread Panic, Steve Winwood, and Robbie Robertson, his is hardly a household name. Nevertheless, on the multi-instrumentalistís fifth solo outing Thin Places, he delivers a terrific set of tunes that polishes Southern rock, country, and soul into a glossy, pop-stoked gemstone. Sounding at times like an amalgamation of Robertson, Peter Gabriel, and a trio of Bruces ó Cockburn, Hornsby, and Springsteen ó Bramblett defied the odds plaguing most sidemen and put together a collection of songs that ring with truth. His charactersí lives are filled with despair, heartache, and pain, yet he allows them room to escape their surroundings via the shimmering music that envelops his words. Although the bland arrangements of tracks like You Can Be the Rain and Gotta Stop Somewhere threaten to derail the album, Bramblettís passionate vocals frequently lift the material above what is typical singer-songwriter fare, particularly on the dusky creak of Confident Thieves, the crunchy rock of Nobodyís Problem, and the swinging soul of Black Coat. While itís true that Bramblett may never take his solo act into the sizeable concert halls and arenas of his long-time associates, Thin Places proves he can concoct a song cycle that is equally potent.
Of Further Interest...
Thin Places is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box