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Tonights concert honoring John Jarrard blends music for good causes
1007Bramblett
Randall Bramblett performs tonight at the Bruce Burch & Friends concert honoring John Jarrard.

Athens-based rocker Randall Bramblett is set to perform today at the John Jarrard concert. One among many songwriters slated for the event, Bramblett is a fitting pick to honor Jarrard, who was a prolific songwriter himself.

Bramblett's newest album, "Now It's Tomorrow," is filled with nothing but self-penned lyrics.

"Sun Runs" displays Bramblett's creative songwriting ability:

"Till the sun run out of yellow/Till the rain falls dry/Till the lightning run out of juice/I will be by your loving side.

Till the river runs back where it came from/Till the mountain falls flat/Till the ocean crawls up on the dry land/You give me something that nobody in the world can."

Bramblett said living in Athens rather than Nashville, Tenn., which is the home base for many singer-songwriters, leaves room for more creativity and freedom.

"There's so many different types of groups here and you're not writing with a style in mind or with a person in mind, like they do in Nashville a lot," Bramblett said.

He said the absence of the country scene that permeates Nashville leaves room for other music styles to flourish.

"In Athens, it's a totally different scene down here," Bramblett said. "You've got a lot of indie people who are writing just for themselves, pretty much, their bands. That's what, basically, I've always done, too. I've had cuts from other people, but I never was one to write solely looking for a cut from somebody else.

"I can only speak for me. I just write what comes up that I like, and I guess I'm lucky that I can have a small label that will put it out."

Bramblett, who also plays saxophone, keyboard and guitar, moved to Athens in 1970 to focus on music.

"I was supposed to go into grad school or seminary or something and I just decided that I wanted to devote all my time to writing and music," he said. "I decided to work on my songwriting and become a professional musician, full time."

His music career moved him to Macon and New Orleans, but Bramblett said he always considered Athens home.

"I've always loved Athens, and always end up back here," he said.

Bramblett said his education in psychology and religion play a role in the lyrics he writes.

"A lot of the lyrics have to do with questioning and meaning and purpose and life and death. You know, passing of time, loss, yearning, trying to understand what's going on," Bramblett said.

"And a lot of naturalistic kind of images. Water, drought and sky and sun and moon, you know, and the metaphors that go along with that. There's a lot of search for meaning, kind of, in all these songs, and there's a lot of sense of loss and acceptance in these songs too," he said.

Bramblett will join other songwriters in an in-the-round style performance at the John Jarrard concert, taking turns at performing and telling stories about their songs.

Allen Nivens, an organizer for the concert and its opening act, said this year proceeds from the concert will directly benefit The John Jarrard Foundation, a new nonprofit organization.

In past years, proceeds were directed to the North Georgia Community Foundation.

Nivens said the establishment of the new foundation will enable organizers to further their efforts.

"Because we are our own foundation it will definitely allow us to do more things in the future in terms of educational components - music and songwriting in schools. We'd also like to have more concerts" Nivens said.

Nivens said proceeds from the concert still will benefit the same charities, including the Good News Clinics, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hall County, Georgia Mountain Food Bank Fund, the Georgia Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Good News at Noon.

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