In the most recent Inside Out w/ Turner & Seth podcast, Seth Weiner sits down for a quick interview with Arizona-based jammers Spafford prior to their Electric Forest set first weekend, and the duo caught up with journeyman Randall Bramblett in-studio to chat about his most recent album, Juke Joint at the Edge of the World (set for a July 7th release via New West Records), and the recent passings of friends Gregg Allman, Col. Bruce Hampton, and Sea Level bandmate Jimmy Nalls.
In the Spafford interview, Red Johnson, Brian Moss, Jordan Fairless, and newest addition to the band, drummer Cameron Laforest, sit down with Seth to discuss their upcoming Phish Baker’s Dozen late-night on Saturday, August 5th at BB King Blues Club [**only a few tickets left! Purchase here**], the recent announcement of their extensive Fall Tour, and the possibility of throwing their own festival in their home state of Arizona.
The group chats about their hopes to eventually host an Arizona-based festival of their own: “We definitely think about it, we think about it all the time….and want to do it in Arizona. We want people to come and experience, and hang out just outside of Phoenix in December, and go watch music outside. You can be in the East freezing, or out West in the sunshine. Eventually we are going to get people to come and see why we’ve been out there doing what we’ve been doing.”
Discussing their upcoming late-night show in New York City during Phish’s Baker’s Dozen run at Madison Square Garden, “We started this year, basically, in New York after Phish, doing two nights at American Beauty and it was amazing for everyone involved. We’re just happy to be able to do that again, especially at the culmination of an event like this, with Phish doing this residency in their way, and at the very end of it we will be there.”
Spafford continues their busy summer (and into the fall) with appearances at The Peach Festival, Werk Out Festival, Suwannee Hulaween, Dominican Holidaze, and the inaugural Canyon Jam in Colorado at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre w/ The Main Squeeze, Aqueous, Mungion, and more. Be sure to check out their fan-based website Spaffnerds.com for show and setlist history, as well as fan discussions about the band.
After the conversation with the Spafford guys, the episode moves into a fantastic interview with Jessup, GA native journeyman musician Randall Bramblett. The blues/folk/gospel singer/multi-instrumentalist talks in depth about his truly incredible musical resume, including extensive touring with the Gregg Allman Band, Steve Winwood and Traffic, Widespread Panic, Levon Helm, and the Muscle Shoals Allstars, opening for the Grateful Dead and having Jerry Garcia, Chuck Leavell, and more sit in with him onstage.
In the podcast episode, Bramblett shares a track from his latest studio album, Juke Joint at the Edge of the World, and one from his last album, Devil Music. Bramblett chats about how he came to meet and play with fellow Georgia rockers Widespread Panic, whom he has recorded and toured with many times over the years, “I met them when they were doing their early albums, they would need a horns or something. I was the sax guy in the area, and was working a lot at John Keane’s studio. John and I had done records together, so since he was working with them, they asked me to come in.”
He explains the challenge of coming in to play with a band known for its extensive jamming, “It’s a big adjustment, because nobody quite plays like they do. With [Steve] Winwood, somebody plays a solo and everybody plays around them. With Panic, they’re all playing lead things and taking songs and jams to places where they don’t even know where it’s going. They are just going out there and trying things, not just in the solo sections, but maybe a part at the end section might turn into a whole new song. They just go for it.” He played on the tour when Michael Houser was diagnosed with cancer and, eventually, passed away: “It was sad and intense. Me and George [McConnell] were both there. It’s like we were waiting in the background for Mikey to leave. It was weird, but they wanted to continue this tour.”
The losses of friends such as Gregg Allman, Col. Bruce Hampton, and Jimmy Nalls were particularly tough on Bramblett. On Col. Bruce: “We [initially] passed each other and met briefly back in the 70’s, but hadn’t crossed too much until Panic asked us to start guesting. Panic en la Playa was when we really got to get to know each other….he is like no other.”
On the recent passing of Gregg Allman, and getting the opportunity to tell the Allman Brothers legend how much he appreciated playing with him: “When we were doing the solo things, Gregg was in a different world. We didn’t hang much at that time. I got to chat with Gregg more later on, because we would run into each other at festivals, or the Atlanta Symphony thing we did with Chuck [Leavell].” He was told Allman’s health was failing and to reach out via text, as the singer couldn’t speak, “It feels so much better to let someone go, after you said what you needed to say to them. It helps to be able to voice, whatever it is, appreciation, respect, gratitude….”
Randall Bramblett will be touring in support of his latest release throughout the summer. For more information and tour dates, check out his website and purchase his last album, Devil Music, here. To order his latest release, Juke Joint at the Edge of the World (out July 7th), click here.
Listen to this week’s full episode of Live For Live Music Presents: Inside Out with Turner & Seth below, featuring Rob and Seth’s complete interviews with Spafford and Randall Bramblett below:
Upcoming episodes of Inside Out w/ Turner & Seth will feature interviews with Phish’s Jon Fishman, Marcus King, The Main Squeeze, and many more. Stay tuned!
**For more Inside Out With Turner And Seth episodes, head to their SoundCloud, iTunes, or Stitcher page. You can also email the podcast producers here to submit feedback which may be incorporated into future episodes!**
[Josh Thane is a music engineer at Wonderdog Sound Studios and edits all Inside Out podcasts. Cover photo via Bear Prandelli (Spafford)]
You can check out past episodes of Live For Live Music Presents: Inside Out with Turner and Seth podcast below:
You can catch Spafford and an extensive lineup of incredible pre- and post- shows during Phish’s upcoming Baker’s Dozen run at Madison Square Garden in New York City. You can check out our Guide To Baker’s Dozen Late Nights here.