by Bill Thames
Bonnie Bramlett now becomes the third former Capricorn Records artist, along with Jimmy Hall (Wet Willie), and the Capricorn Rhythm Section, to sign with Rockin' Camel Music of Gadsden, AL.
While under contract with Capricorn Records in the 1970s, Bramlett recorded three successful solo LPs, adding to an already impressive list of hit records. Bramlett is currently in the studio with the former head of A & R at Capricorn Records, the legendary producer and engineer, Johnny Sandlin (Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman, Wet Willie, Elvin Bishop, Delbert McClinton, Widespread Panic). Bramlett and Sandlin are putting the finishing touches on Beautiful, a new recording slated to be released for Valentine's Day.
"I've been waiting to do this album with Bonnie since Lady's Choice in 1975," said Sandlin.
"Her voice is in top form and the album contains both excellent players and powerful material. She is one of my all-time favorite singers and I feel very fortunate to be working with her again."
Raised on a constant diet of soul and rhythm and blues, Bramlett began her career by catching the ears of the likes of Albert King, Fontella Bass, and Little Milton. She soon became the first white Ikette for the Ike and Tina Turner Review, building her reputation on passionate, energetic live performances.
As her career accelerated she married Delaney Bramlett and the couple went on to form Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. "Friends" included Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Duane Allman, Bobby Whitlock, George Harrison, Dave Mason, Rita Coolidge, Gram Parsons and John Lennon to name just a few. Delaney & Bonnie broke up personally and professionally in 1973. After her move to Capricorn Records in the 1970s, Bramlett was invited by Dickey Betts and Gregg Allman to tour extensively with the Allman Brothers Band, where she became known as the only "Allman Sister."
Hits for Bramlett include "Soul Shake," "Never Ending Song of Love," and "Only You Know and I Know," and writing credits include the often recorded, "Superstar," co-written with Leon Russell, and performed by Rita Coolidge in the movie "Mad Dogs and Englishmen."
In the 1980s Bramlett expanded her talents to acting, spending the next three decades sharing her time between music and the stage. Her acting credits include work on the series "Fame," and "Roseanne," and her movie credits include "The Doors," "Vanishing Point," "Catch My Soul," and "The Guardian," in which Bramlett co-starred with Kevin Costner.
In 2006 Carl Weaver and Johnny Sandlin co-founded Rockin' Camel Music in Gadsden, AL. In the two years since its inception, Rockin' Camel Music has released CD's for Toy Shop, Jimmy Hall, the Capricorn Rhythm Section, Microwave Dave & the Nukes, Johnny Barbato & the Lucky Doggs, Kenny Acosta, and Danny Brooks, with many others in the can.
Photo by Michael Buffalo Smith