by Rick Grant
For whatever reason that no one can explain, Randall Bramblett does not enjoy household word recognition with the general public. However, among long time name artists such as Stevie Winwood, Levon Helm, Elvin Bishop, John Hammond, plus many others, Randall is a songwriter’s songwriter. Indeed, Randall is one of America’s preeminent singer-songwriters in a class with Bob Dyan, Neil Young, and David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash of CSN.
I knew about Randall being a respected songwriter, but I’d never witnessed his act live. So when that opportunity arose, I decided to cover his performance at the European Street on Beach Blvd. My decision was sweetened when I found out that my friend and rising musical star, Conrad Oberg would be performing his first acoustic show.
The place was sold out when I arrived. Conrad, now 17 years old, was showing off his acoustic wizardry with some blues tunes and a couple of standards. He jazzed up the Champ’s Tequila and improvised on Classical Gas, throwing in some funny references.
Again, Conrad amazed his audience by showcasing his talent with his Dobro and acoustic guitar. He even impressed Randall Bramblett, who invited him to sit-in later in his set. Artist’s as prestigious as Randall rarely invite anyone to sit-in unless they know them.
Clearly, Conrad is years ahead of his age. He’s been making big waves in the music biz since he was 10 years old when EU first covered his cool little Ray Charles act. His Jimi Hendrix styled guitar rendition of the National Anthem at the 40th anniversary of Woodstock in 2009 made him many important new friends. He won the Cartoon Network’s the Most Talented Teen Artist in America Award. Soon, Conrad will release an album of original songs. The accolades just keep coming.
Normally, Conrad is a tough act to follow except if you’re Randall Bramblett. He plays piano and guitar with equally advanced artistry. He’s polished, confident, and jokes with the crowd. He began his set playing his acoustic guitar and singing some of his most popular ditties, such as Until the Sun Runs Out of Yellow, You Can Be The Rain Against My Windows, Drifting Into a Woman’s Arms, and other beautifully structured love ballads.
Randall’s new album, (released in 2010) titled Now It’s Tomorrow continues Randall’s songwriting excellence. Remarkably, Randall achieved a flawless live sound with his joyful presentation. Clearly, Randall is happy with his status as a go-to songwriter and session man for innumerable artists. He also fronts his own ensemble–The Randall Bramblett Band
Respect from his peers and live audiences are important factors in Randall’s stellar career. More significantly, for the discriminating listener who values intelligent and inspired songwriting, Randall is a tough act to beat.
Randall Bramblett & Conrad Oberg
by Rick Grant