Singer-songwriter, ‘electric’ psychedelic jam band, experimental
electronic compositions, and acoustic instrumental healing music.
Swirling thunder and wisps of sunlight, the music of Chris Bramble revels in contradiction, weaving disparate strands into an improbable musical tapestry. One moment delicate strains, the next a soaring electronic wail, the next still celebratory swirl. The inspiration remains the same, though: a heart rooted in ancient traditions of spiritual yearning, yet embracing this edgy modern world, dancing all the while. Mixing the sweetness of the West Coast with the bluntness of the East, the deep pain of observing a world losing its way and the bright joy of finding the candles in the darkness, Chris Bramble somehow resolves it all into his own unique harmony.
A lifelong spiritual journey has manifested itself in this particular facet of my music. I’ve been performing (collaborating?) in various intentionally healing settings, including background music for yoga classes, group meditations, life transitions, plant-based ceremonies, and the like. Its been fascinating to explore improvising in these multi dimensional spaces, with the intention of weaving melodies and soundscapes into a group mind-field. A different type of listening is involved here, separate from improvisational interplay with other musicians. This listening involves compositionally responding to the emotions and mindsets of the personalities in the space, expressing musically the joy, fear, warrior-fire, serenity, etc that people are experiencing. The music created in these settings is usually more instrumental than in my other musical modalities, and can also involve instruments other than guitar: gongs, bells, bowls, chimes, silence.
When playing out with the Chris Bramble Band, the idea is to create danceable & inspirational music in the acoustic/electric folk/rock vein, with a heavy emphasis on improvisation and musical adventure. I plug my acoustic guitar through a plethora of pedals to conjure new sounds that nod to, yet elude, ‘traditional’ electric rock guitar sounds. The albums “Laugh At the Wind” and “For Those With Eyes to See” reflect this ethos, and are blessed with the talents of numerous folks, including drummers Bradley Leach and Brad Cox, and violinists TerryAnn Gillette, Mike Kane, Chris Rovetti, and Ananta’s electric violin. Bassists Paul Lamb and Michael Lindner have also contributed tremendously as producers and engineers on “Eyes” and “Laugh”, respectively, as did John Paul MacLean on “Laugh”, also coincidentally a superb bass player. Paul Best contributed djembe and other percussion instruments on tour and on both “Eyes” and “Laugh”. And, can’t forget Mike Emerson, who lent his keyboard prowess to “Eyes”. This aspect of my music has been described in reviews as “ sunshine and blue skies on a warm day” and “expansive spacey groove along the lines of Gong meets Hawkwind” and “ a sonic party to delight brain, soul, and tapping toes”. Hope that’s a sufficient description….
I latched on to folk music early in my childhood, and traditional celtic and appalachian themes as well as sixties folk run through my softer musical side. Usually when performing this way I’m running solo, but will often invite like-minded souls playing mandolins and fiddles, banjos and even other guitarists to co-create with me. These songs don’t really fit with the full band’s repertoire, and its fun and gratifying in its own way to express a ‘simpler’ musical wellspring, where I can play my guitar unplugged, and pull out a mountain dulcimer. Gospel themes and harmonies also find their way here, a gift from church-singing seven-year-old me.