Graham Bramblett – The Great Inbetween
The concept here is not new but often allows one to peak into the creative heart of an artist. Singer-songwriters as diversified as Jules Shear; Peter Hammill & Bruce Springsteen (“Nebraska”) all recorded & released stripped-down streamlined LPs. It’s a pleasant way to hear the material in a somewhat musical infancy & not in an economical demo quality.
This 6-song EP from Nashville-based songwriter Graham Bramblett is one such exploration. After releasing his debut LP in 2016 Under the Lights, Bramblett thought he needed to get his fresh songs recorded quickly & instead of going through the rigors of multi-tracking etc.…he absconded with bass, drums, electric guitar & opted to go in lean, no sugar added, no artificial flavors.
Not every artist has that kind of talent – bare bones can get boring quickly.
So, on The Great Inbetween (drops July 17 – Independent), Mr. Bramblett tosses the dice on compelling new songs that will more than likely sound just as good when he eventually adds a full band.
The Dallas, Texas-born Graham (guitars) doesn’t write or perform in the standard Nashville mold. While he’s not as outlaw as Steve Earle, twangy as Randy Travis, or as eccentric as Lyle Lovett, he does have a good storytelling style. He walks the narrow musical halls of a Gene Watson, Gene Ryder, Guy Clark & the more serious/humorous sides of Roger Miller. Evident on clever songs like “Rain on the Roof,” & “Stickers.”
More in a traditional tact is “The One That I Want,” that even an old legendary codger like George Jones could’ve had a hit with. A nice Spanish-style trumpet (Andrew Golden) puts some gravy on the tune.
Joining Graham: Ken Wilson (steel guitar), Sarah Morris, Kensie Coppin & Davis Corely (background vocals), & Elliot Blaufuss (guitar & Rhodes).
The EP offers a mix of fine country songs – some slow, some upbeat, but never controversial, or political. Bramblett doesn’t need the attention. He has a well-developed classy style. Just good music, clever lyrics that many can relate to. He sings with a voice that isn’t in that traditional big country hat, beer & kick-ass boots, pick-up truck club. There’s a seriousness to his compositions & he lines them with a little humor to keep it lighthearted. The perfect road trip music. Out on the highway top-down at 70 with the wind mussing your hair.
What I look to next time is a full band Graham Bramblett rocking out with a sizzle. He sounds like he has that potential voice & hints at it with the final track “You Can’t Dance.” Even stripped down the song still percolates.
The 20-minute EP was produced by Elliott, Davis & Graham. Excellently recorded at Southern Heat Studios. A song premiere for his “Tom T. Hall T-Shirt” was posted on Americana Highways on June 6th.
The CD is available at Amazon. http://www.grahambramblett.com