Bonnie Bramlett

 

Home
News

Bio
Photos
Discography
TV & Movies
Interviews
Tour Dates Merchandise
Guestbook
Links
Memorial
Site Info & Contact

INTERVIEWS


Recommended interviews with Bonnie on this site and elsewhere on the Internet.

(To download mp3's, right click and select 'Save target as...')

 

Radio Woodstock logoDJ Wex's interview for Radio Woodstock
Jerry Wexler's daughter, Lisa, brings out some fascinating, detailed anecdotes right from the start of Bonnie's recording career (July 10, 2015
)

AL.com logoMatt Wake's interview for AL.com
Reflections on a wide range of career highlights and the writing of that book (March 25, 2014
)

John Cowan radio show logoJohn Cowan's radio show, "I Believe To My Soul"
Hot on the heels of Bonnie's celebration of John's 60th with Tracy Nelson, Danny Flowers and others, Bonnie joins John in the studio
for 50 minutes of fascinating reflection and album tracks
(November 14, 2013
)

Jon Hichborn's Rippped Off logoJon Hichborn's Rippped Off - internet radio call in (mp3, 60MB)
Bonnie confirms and dispels a variety of rumours in typical style, in
this wide ranging, entertaining call-in to Pop Odyssey Radio - starts at around 17 minutes into the show (November 29, 2012
)


Jeff Moehlis interview for Music Illuminati
Music Illuminati logoBonnie describes life as one who's "made it" and gets excited at the prospect of an upcoming fundraiser for The Rhythmic Arts Project
(TRAP) in Santa Barbara (September 4, 2012
)

BlogTalkRadio phone chat
BlogTalkRadio logoMichael Buffalo Smith calls Bonnie
for a chat in the second half of
his show - archived and available for download (September 11, 2011
)


Randy Patterson interview for boomercity.com
Boomercity.com logoA detailed look at some of Bonnie's early years and the influence of her Christian upbringing (July, 2011)


The Big Show with John Boy & Billy logoThe Big Show with John Boy & Billy (mp3, 7MB)
Listen to Bonnie's uproarious 7 minute interview in advance
of her show in Asheville, NC
(January 27, 2009)

 


Gritz logoGritz interview
Bonnie talks to Michael Buffalo Smith about her new album,
"Beautiful", and other fascinating sessions (2008)



The Bluegrass Special logo The Bluegrass Special phone chat
Bonnie tellsDavid McGee about the songs and messages
in her new album, "Beautiful" (May, 2008
)


The Big Show with John Boy & Billy logoHow Do You Know He’s Real?
Bonnie's is one of 34 real-life stories in Amy Hagberg's book
about celebrities who know God is real because of their
personal relationship with Him (Destiny Image, 2006)

 

 

 

Testifying album cover"Testifying" album showcase
Bonnie talks about the special concerts in London (April 2005
)


 


Tampa Creative Loafing logo
A Treasured Find
Bonnie on hanging out with Clapton, Harrison, The Allmans and Roseanne - a career retrospective with Scott Harrell (January 2005
)


Total Living Network logoSt. Louis Today interview and album review
Posted on The Allman Brothers Band website,
Hittin The Web, Barry Gilbert's review of Bonnie's latest album
"I'm Still The Same" comes with a fascinating interview, starting with Bonnie's early years in East St. Louis with Ike & Tina Turner (
April 2004)

 

Total Living Network logoTLN TV interview
Bonnie shares her gospel roots (March 2004
)

 

 

Jonesville Station logoJonesville Station radio interview
Listen to an archived show from February, 2004
(start at 23 mins into the show for Bonnie's part)

 


Mitch Lopate logoMitch Lopate interview
Stories of albums new and old, acting, making a queen,
high japes on the train in 1970 and growing wiser (2003)

 

Southbound Beat logoSouthound Beat
Review of "I'm Still The Same"
and interview by Pat Benny (2003
)


Greg Martin's Low Down Hoedown logoThe Lowdown Hoedown
Listen to Greg Martin's half hour interview from 2002

 

Gritz logoGritz interview, 2000
Don’t You Remember You Told Me You Loved Me Baby? 
A Conversation with Jill McLane Smith

 

***********************************************************************************

Review of "I'm Still The Same" and interview
by Pat Benny, Southound Beat, 2003

   From 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 Bramlettís breathtaking new release, Iím Still The Same, on Koch/Audium Records is such a recording.  Readers, like myself, who remember Delaney and Bonnie from the early seventies, might expect the country oriented, bluegrass influenced music of that time ó goodtime 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 Bramlett?

    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 Bonnieís own rendition of Superstar, the song made popular in the seventies by The Carpenters.

    Bonnieís smokey, sultry voice wraps itself around the lyrics and opens a window into her very soulóa 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 singerís voice. But how can you compare one diva from another? It wouldnít be fair to compare Bonnieís 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 Jamesí powerful voice could do justice to Hurt and Give It Time, but I donít 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.

    It is interesting to note that in these times of digital recording, voice filters and synthesizers, Bonnieís 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 itís 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.  Itís as if she is saying: 'Yeah, I can sing, but what Iím 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.

    Donít wait for this CD to become as hard to find as Motel Shot, Delaney and Bonnieís tribute to the music of The Road. This CD is too important, to damned beautiful to miss.  Iíve had this disk in my car for a month now and Iím not in any hurry to replace it. Check out the Bonnie Bramlett Interview in this edition (February 2003) of SBM and visit her website at www.bonniebramlett.com.  Bonnie has promised us a book, to be released sometime later this year.  Once youíve read her bio, youíll certainly want to know more about this incredibly talented woman, as do I.  But you have to look for Bonnie Bramlett.  Sheíll be happy to talk to you, to sing for you, to write for you.  But she wonít come looking for you; you have to look for her.  Could you expect anything less from a diva?  :)

Interview with Bonnie

SBM: Hello, Miss Bramlett, and welcome to the virtual reality of Southbound Beat Magazine. I can’t begin to tell you what an honor it is to have you share a bit of your time with us.
BB: Thanks for thinkin of me honey.

SBM: I’d like to begin with the question that I’ve been asking myself since reading your Bio on your website, www.BonnieBramlett.com. How in the world have you escaped the attention of the entertainment media for so many years-given the fact that you have remained extremely active in the music business?
BB: Just lucky I guess.

SBM: What does Bonnie Bramlett do when She’s not making music?
BB: I write songs, and I love to drive, so I go on rides in the country. : )

SBM: Your website is so slick, so impressive; do you enjoy computers and surfing the net, or do you leave that to the experts?
BB: The website was done, and is maintained by my friends Beverly Midkiff and Ginger Ambrose. They do other sites as well; Fan Clubs, Charlie Daniels, to mention my favorite. : ) Yes, I do a lot of work on my computer. I answer all my own e-mail. And, I also write, keep a journal, etc.

SBM: A few years back, you appeared on the Roseanne television show. Can you tell us how that came about and what it was like to work with Roseanne and Tom?
BB: Roseanne and who? …I met Rosie while doing a play and she asked me to be on her show. I, of course, said YES!!

SBM: It appears to me that too many of today’s musicians are at each other’s throats, a stark contrast to the 60’s and 70’s, when it really was Delaney and Bonnie and Friends. What do think the reason is for this lack of camaraderie in the industry today?
BB: You know…That’s not been my experience. I think everybody’s way too FAMOUS, and full of themselves instead of their music, but they are friends like we were. They jam, not as much or as spontaineously. But, every now and again, they’ll jam.

SBM: Your Bio was certainly informative, and I hope that our readers check it out, but I’d like you to expound on a few things. For instance, could you tell us what it was like to be fifteen years old and a member of Ike and Tina Turner’s Ikettes? Did you tour with them, or was it strictly studio work?
BB: It was dangerous, a lot of racism. It was wonderful. I did a short tour. It was long enough to start the flame inside me…I write about it in detail in my book. I should be finished with it next year.

SBM: You have written songs for and performed with so many icons of the music industry. Can I just throw out some names and have you tell us what it was like to work with them?
BB: Sure.

SBM: I once lived in a hotel that employed a maid who happened to be friends with Dexter Gordon. Maggie spoke very highly of him; not just musically but as an extraordinary person. Can you give us some insight on Dexter?
BB: Dexter was a big man. I never thought Dexter got his props…He was so great and a gentleman that you had to keep reminding yourself he was a gentleman because he was a big flirt. : ) We went to Earnest Hemingway’s house in Havanna along with the Hearth Brothers. Spent a wonderful afternoon just listening to those great Jazz men talk. I heard the real stories from the real Jazz men. I heard Billie Holiday stories, and Babs Gonzales stories. : M.I.M.B. (More in my book……)

SBM: How about Miles Davis? I’ve always heard that he could be stubborn and difficult to work with. Did you find this to be true?
BB: I don’t think Miles knew I was even there. He really never acknowledged me. I was just a voice. I know he heard me, because he would smile sometimes. But, he certainly was not a difficult person. He’s a Genius you know.

SBM: Referring to your Bio again, you met Eric Clapton when your band opened for Blind Faith. What was it like to work with Eric and that phenomenal but short-lived band?
BB: We had a BALL!!! No doubt! We had a great band and we were playin our butts off. Eric and Rick came on the bus with us and we partied the whole tour. It ended up with Eric and Rick comin on stage with us and Jammin. We really had a ball! : )

SBM: Is Rufus Thomas as hilarious as reported?
BB: I didn’t know Mr. Thomas…..but, you should ask Delaney.

SBM: We could fill the entire Internet discussing the many great performers you’ve been associated with, so let’s save some room to talk about your new CD, I’m Still the Same, on Audium/Koch Records. Bonnie, this is a powerful, soulful collection of tunes and I’m not the only one to fall in love with it. Are you enjoying the praise?
BB: I am. : ) Thank you.

SBM: The material is such a departure from the Delaney and Bonnie era. How did you come to choose this style of music for the CD?
BB: Well, my friend Carolyn Brand Corlew, who sang background with me for many years, as well as with Charlie Daniels, along with her husband David Corlew, who is both Charlie Daniels manager and a music publisher, financed the project. David also gave me full artistic freedom to make the record I always wanted to make. I will always be blessed by their friendship. : ) Thanks kids!!

SBM: It appears that all of the tunes to which you are given credit are collaboration with other composers. Do you focus on the music, the lyrics, or both?
BB: I do both melody and lyrics, but I call myself a co-writer still. The wonderful writers that accompanied me in the creation of the eight songs on this album are the builders. They truly take all the thoughts and words, and put them in the right place so that the picture is clear in three minutes or so. What a blessing to be able to write a song. Indians call it making a song. It’s a holy thing to make a song to Indians. I think it is to me too. : )

SBM: I have to agree. This CD definitely has a spiritual vibe. Like a window to your soul, Bonnie. I wasn’t mature enough to appreciate the Carpenters when they were on top, but I always liked Superstar. Your version on this album is incredible. Is this the way you imagined it when it was first written?
BB: Sort of, but I was very young and unable, as well as unqualified, to stand up for myself artistically. It was meant to be a Torch Song. Instead, they got a HIT SONG!! : ) Still, I was disappointed in the Carpenters version. I guess up until Luther, Bette’s was my favorite. But, Big Luther validated me with his version. I still didn’t ever want to sing that song again…too painful. But…NO….the only thing David Corlew asked me to do for him was to sing Superstar. So, after all these years, and after all my tears, this is how I feel about it today. Thank you for recognizing my performance to be real.

SBM: "That's the attraction, I think. Every song is so very real". Have you given any thoughts toward your next project, and will it be in the same genre, or will it be something different?
BB: I want to call in the Troops on the next one and I want to have a ROCK N ROLL REVIVAL!! We need to show these kids how to ROCK! : ) PO THINGS DON’T EVEN KNOW……

SBM: The last track on your album, I’m Still the Same, which bears the same name is so haunting, so beautiful and full of hope. Was this a difficult song to write?
BB: Gary Nicholson is the writer on that one…Oh, I was there and it is my story, but Gary is a Master Songwriter.

SBM: Bonnie, you’ve contributed so much to music in so many ways, including your daughter, Bekka. You must be very proud of her?
BB: Well, I am very proud of her. : ) She is a very hard worker.. Her passion for singing and writing and teaching is God’s gift, and she is using it well. Both of my girls are very powerful and accomplished women. I love them so very much. By the way, go to Bekka’s site and have a listen to her new CD. I cry when I have a hear. (www.bekka-bramlett.com)

SBM: "Well, she certainly came by that honestly." I’m sure that Bekka grew up surrounded by great musicians and their music. At what age did she show signs of having the same talent as her parents?
BB: From the very go. We knew from the very go, because of her personality. (M.I.M.B.)

SBM: Do you worry about her when she tours?
BB: Not really! I have a lot of confidence in my girls, that they make their own choices and they are very good at that. They are wise as well as powerful. As far as her safety….I believe in God. PTL

SBM: You and Delaney took the stage with Bekka in Nashville; that must have been fun.
BB: What a wonderful night… I know this sounds Mom-ish, but… We sang Dann Penn’s “Do Right Woman”… and my daughter reached over and took my hand in hers and held it because she knew that I had not sang that song without her father. She sang in his stead with me. I was reeling inside, but the touch of her hand gounded me and I was okay. She loves me like a rock. : )

SBM: Is there a possibility of the three of you recording together? Perhaps a tour?
BB: Yes, I would like for that to happen; I would be up for that. But, I would like for Bekka to produce that project. I don't see a tour happening, but maybe a television special. Or a video. : )

SBM: Bonnie, I’d like to thank you for spending this time with us and wish you great success for the future. It’s my job to “sling the mush around,” but I must tell you that your new CD is so fantastic, I can’t say enough about it. I hope it receives the recognition that it deserves.
BB: Well, thanks Pat. I hope it gets promoted properly, and maybe it’ll get played, then it’ll get heard. And, if you hear it, you’re gonna like it! See ya later alligator. Blessings and PEACE – Bonnie Bramlett

I am looking forward to another interview after your book is released!

Pat Benny

Review and interview reproduced with kind permission of SBM

Southbound Beat Magazine logo    

Go to page top