Chuck Lee Bramlet
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Chuck Lee Bramlet

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The best kept secret in music


"Assured second solo release from the one time Gingersol-Man."

After years as sideman in AOR outfits Rebel Train, The Violets and more recently Gingersol, a chance listen to Son Volts 'Trace' prompted Chuck Lee Bramlet to put down his bass, pick up a proper guitar & start to write some proper songs. Ahem! So now I have isolated one of the largest music buying demographics in America, a fairly popular & big selling band & all bass players in a single paragraph, do you trust me to lead you through the finer points of ‘Murder of Crows’? Where the last Gingersol album could be filed away along with your Matchbox 20 and Dave Matthews records (and filed away they should be), ‘Murder of Crows’ takes its lead from the aforementioned 'Trace' as well as perhaps Tom Petty's 'Wildflowers' and Warren Zevon’s 'The Wind'. Grown up, sure, but with an edge and a little conscience for added social validity... 'Thank you Starbucks, 'cause there's one more another block away, are you Justified?' (Justified) To take the Zevon thing a stage further, on 'Not My Brother' the resemblance in singing style is uncanny (As is the similarity in melody with the late masters ' She's Too Good for Me') although on the Bramlet track we are treated to a stunning backing vocal from the Melissa Etheridgesque Lisa Hayes. Other standout tracks include 'Justified' with its double tracked vocal set hauntingly under a trio of driving guitars and 'Denial' which deals with an unspecified addiction... 'How many of those did you take today?' This record is however, not without its VH1 moments; 'Dark Star' ( not the Grateful Dead cover) and 'Little Lights' are fairly unimaginative pop tunes, the latter being partially rescued by a lovely mandolin figure holding it together, only partially mind. While influences are worn proudly on its sleeve, in ‘Murder of Crows’, Chuck Lee Bramlet has produced an album that will easily appeal to fans of any of the records mentioned in reference here and recorded it in a style that will ensure a similar longevity. Also available ‘Pooks Road’. - Americana UK Review by Pete Gow

"Chuck Lee Bramlet • Murder of Crows"

Bramlet has been deservedly compared with Tom Petty and George Harrison. Murder of Crows is an excellent album that also demonstrates how similar his music is to recent material released by Steve Wynn. The song "Justified" even has elements of Adam Schmitt and Crazy Horse. Bramlet's "alt-pop" songs - like "Midnight Sun" and "Dark Train" - are certainly catchy, and those unfamiliar with his work should seek it out. - Erik Sorensen • - June, 2004

"Pooks Road"

What a gem! We get a lot of CDs in here, so many we can barely open the packages, let alone listen to them. When we hear a good one, what a treat, and I must have listened to this one over 200 times already.

This is rock 'n roll in the tradition of Tom Petty and John Fogerty - guitar strumming, great lyrics, band music, with some folksy tunes as well. Chuck came to North Hollywood from Portland, Oregon where he kicked off his solo career as a writer after gigging and recording with The Violets, Lisa Hayes, and Gingersol as a bassist.

Stating his main influences as being Nick Drake, Johnny Cash, Roger McGuinn to Otis Redding, Bramlet plays music that is definitely old school, picking up where The Byrds, Moby Grape, and Buffalo Springfield left off. On this 11-track CD, starting with the intro "Pooks Road," the songs take one up and down with killer melodies, some fine strumming, and excellent vocals. Delighted was I to find in the liner notes, after I had already listened to it to death, that Anastasia Newham sings on this project - no wonder it's so good. Drummer Jano Janosik is the only other musician involved, leaving Bramlet on the guitars, bass, lap steel, accordian and Hammond Organ.

Although the songwriter claims this selection of songs are "dark," dating back to his time spent in Portland (a dark place), I found the songs to be uplifting, even if they are a little melancholy and undoubtably haunting. The last two cuts, "Long Thin Line," destined to become a great hit, and "St. Johns Bridge" being an instrumental, will send you back to track one to listen to the whole thing all over again. If addictive forming is dark, then yes, this is a very dark work!

With more sweetening for airplay, I think Chuck would sell a couple million copies! - Anna McWillie - Editor-in-cheif - NoHo LA - Feb 27, 2003

"Chuck Lee Bramlet • Murder of Crows"

Chuck’s sophomore release is another first-rate, mid-tempo jangly roots-based pop extravaganza that was established last year on “Pooks Road”. Will appeal immediately to fans of Tom Petty, Wilco, Son Volt, Peter Bruntnell, etc. We particularly love “Dark Train” which very well could be Chuck Lee’s musical answer to Neil Young’s “The Loner”! Makes an excellent first listen after your weekly dose of Sunday morning mellow pop!

- Ray Gianchetti • Kool Kat Musik - May, 2004

"Pooks Road"

When bassists are solo, i mainly have my doubts and that goes for Chuck Lee Bramlet. His talents up to now on the guitar were mainly heard in Lisa Hayes and the Violets. Especially this one will not be unknown to many lovers of Americana. In Gingersol, Bramlet is even with other bands of the American scene. On Pooks Road Chuck Lee Bramlet comes to fruition.

This recording takes away my preconceptions. Together with Jano Janosik, the drummer with Stewboss, and singer Anastasia Newham behind Chuck Lee Bramlet plays many other instruments (keyboard etc.) Chuck Bramlet has succeeded in producing a very rich disc, where intensity like a red thread goes through all the songs.

Listening to the record again is different in the ears than the first time. The guitar moments of Pooks Road remind me of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - but different. The finest moments are intense - "Calling You" is one of the highlights, but after that the less flamboyant "Eyes of a Killer" the impact is not less. Every listening brings new surprises. - door Maurice Dielemans - KINDAMUSIK - Twang - Feb 25, 2003


2003 "Pooks Road" Cretaceous • CRE1030630
2004 "Murder of Crows"Cretaceous • CRE1030700

RADIO ADDS: CJTR Regina Saskatchewan has added "Love like Mine" • Freight Train Boogie's LIVE 365 has added "Calling You" - Santa Rosa, CA • The Boudin Barndance - WRIU-FM, 90.3 has added "Love Like Mine" - Kingston, R.I. • Rootstime Radio in Belgium has added "Love Like Mine" and "Explaining To Do" • MOJO DREAMS + ROCKABILLY REBELS Radio Sinaai 105.5 FM (Belgium) has added "Love Like Mine"


Feeling a bit camera shy


Chuck is an indie songwriter-performer with solid alt-country and roots credentials. A former member of Rebel Train, The Violets, and Gingersol, he has worked as a bass player behind other writers, and gains great satisfaction doing so. "I love being part of the collaborative thing, starting with bare bones, and organically creating something cool. I really like seeing the light in the main writer's eyes come on, when you sense you are helping their dreams come true."

He's also been writing since age 12, trying to create and recapture the magic that his musical heroes sparked. "I don't understand artists who are not also music fans. If you can't get excited when another artist or writer really hits the mark, I can't relate. When I was a kid, I listened to Meet the Beatles 20 million times like everyone else, I thought it was just good pop music. But on the 20 millionth listen, something hit me. On 'This Boy' it's just a pretty pop ballad with triplets and a stock progression. But on the bridge, Lennon busts out vocally, his voice tearing up with desperation. When they return to the polite verse and ending, you know more about the song, the singer, and the world they live in than you did before. I've been chasing that magic ever since."

After being a band member for so long, it was a chance listening to Jay Farrar on Son Volt's 'TRACE' that prompted Chuck to buy an old Guild Dreadnought and start playing the Portland scene as a solo act.

Now living in Los Angeles, Chuck sings, plays guitar, bass, lap steel, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, piano and keys. He considers songwriting "noble work, and excellent therapy."

Two records have been released under his name, 2003's POOKS ROAD, and 2004's MURDER OF CROWS.