James Hunter was notably “discovered” by Van Morrison while performing in gritty pubs in England, but the songwriter and singer is more than a protege. The James Hunter Six perform across the world, primarily for blues audiences, although they have been embraced by Americana and rock clubs, as well. Their dynamic shows, fronted by the charismatic British-soul singer, highlight their rhythm and horn sections. The band often works up those parts separately before a whirlwind set of rehearsals when they are recording a new album, such as their latest on Dap Tone Records, Hold On.
Randall Bramblett’s latest solo album, The Bright Spots, highlights his songwriting and the long-term musical collaboration with Davis Causey–going back before Bramblett’s time with the Allman Brothers, well before their collaboration with Chuck Leavell in Sea Level. Bramblett is known as much for his collaborations as he is for his own songwriting, working in multiple incarnations with overlapping musicians and bands. He’d be perfect for a musical Venn Diagram. To only know his playing with other bands, though, leaves a false sense of who Bramblett is as a musician. His solo records stretch across genres, ebbing and flowing–but always growing. None of his work is nostalgic. The Bright Spots is a great example of continued growth, always looking to cover new ground, not beat a path to a doorway that has already been entered.
- Randall Bramblett The Bright Spots
- Bonnie Raitt Used To Rule The World Bramblett composed this tune and also toured with Raitt.
- Gregg Allman with Cowboy (Tour & Recording). This tour brought together some Capricorn Records greats from Macon, Georgia, including songwriter Tommy Talton and Scott Boyer’s band, Cowboy, to work with Gregg Allman. This tune, in the middle of Allman’s set, includes Bramblett on organ and sax, Allman on organ, & Chuck Leavell on electric piano, among others. The CD was re-released by Polydor. Time Will Take Us – Cowboy This set is surprisingly un-Allman Brothers Band sounding. If you’ve never heard it, you should get the album here The Gregg Allman Tour.
- Sea Level Long Walk On A Short Pier
from Allmusic.com: “…a bad*** Bramblett blues-rocker with hot guitar from Jimmy Nalls”
Sea Level took its name from Chuck Leavell, and although it shared many members with different iterations of the Allman Brothers Band over time, the players had known each other in different pairings before their associations with ABB. Think of it more like lots of big fish swimming in a small pond.
- Driftwood Wanderlust Davis Causey produced this little-known, fantastic record, and played quite a bit on it. If you did not follow this program in its early days, you may have missed our feature of Driftwood and Causey’s instrumental role in bringing that concept record to life. It’s a fabulous album that you really ought to buy.
- Michael Rhodes played with The Notorious Cherry Bombs The Notorious Cherry Bombs, as well as zillions of other projects. You might remember them as one of Rodney Crowell’s bands, and their infamous tune, “It’s Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chew Your A$$ Out All Day Long.” Yes, that’s a real song.