time to time, a recording is released that is so perfect in its
content and execution that the conventional superlatives are unable
to describe its music.Bonnie
Bramletts breathtaking new
release, Im Still The Same, on Koch/Audium Records is such a
like myself, who remember Delaney
and Bonnie from the early
seventies, might expect the country oriented, bluegrass influenced
music of that timegoodtime music with lots of tambourines and
twelve string guitars and sweet harmonies. Those were great times,
and the music was dang good. But times have changed and so have I
and so have you and despite the title of this
CD, so has Bonnie. Or could it be that we were shortsighted in
our assessment of Bonnie
There are few artists in the industry with a resume as
impressive as hers, yet she remains relatively obscure, so this
mistake would be justified. This recording is a body of work that
deserves to be judged on its own merit. The
eight original songs, of which Bonnie shares literary credit, are so
powerful that they actually outshine the classic songs on the album.
Songs like Cry Me a River and
You Belong To Me
actually pale in comparison to Bonnies own rendition of Superstar,
the song made popular in the seventies by The Carpenters.
Bonnies smoky, sultry voice wraps itself around the lyrics
and opens a window into her very soula soul that has known
laughter and tears, sorrow and joy and is not afraid to voice these
emotions. It is at this point
in a review that comparisons are usually made in an effort to
describe the sound and style of the singers voice. But how can
you compare one diva from another? It wouldnt be fair to compare
Bonnies vocals on What If
to that of the great Carmen McRae, for they are equals in that
respect. Nor would it be fair to say that Ruth Brown could perform Made
A Believer Out Of Me, or Sure
Sign of Something with any
more control than Bonnie. Etta James powerful voice could do
justice to Hurt and
Give It Time,
but I dont believe Etta could sing them with any more soul than
Bonnie. This is powerful stuff, folks. How does
one describe music that reaches into the heart and mind and
simultaneously soothes the pain and rejoices the spirit? With
reverence, friends, with reverence.
interesting to note that in these times of digital recording, voice
filters and synthesizers, Bonnies vocals were left intact.
Her rendition of the material is so heartfelt that she tends to push
even her magnificent voice to its limits. Most engineers would
have edited these limits in an effort to achieve continuity.
But its these moments when Bonnie pushes her voice to its very
limits that makes the hair on my arms rise and causes a shiver from
the base of my spine. Its as if she is saying: Yeah, I can
sing, but what Im telling you in this song goes far beyond words,
far beyond the human voice. So when Bonnie sings: This
life is passing by, passing by like the blink of an eye,
I can feel the hours, the minutes, the days of our lives swirling
about me like so many leaves in an October windstorm.
wait for this CD to become as hard to find as Motel Shot, Delaney
and Bonnies tribute to the
music of The Road. This CD is too important, to damned beautiful to
miss. Ive had this disk in my car for a month now and Im
not in any hurry to replace it. Check out the Bonnie
Bramlett Interview [Here]
in this edition (February) of SBM and visit her website at www.bonniebramlett.com.
Bonnie has promised us a book, to be released sometime later
this year. Once youve read her bio, youll certainly want
to know more about this incredibly talented woman, as do I.
But you have to look for Bonnie
Bramlett. Shell be
happy to talk to you, to sing for you, to write for you. But
she wont come looking for you; you have to look for her.
Could you expect anything less from a diva? :)
interview with Bonnie Bramlett by Pat Benny Here