Fresh Tracks: Bramwell Park in the spotlight with River City Blues

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Bramwell Park has seen the world work as a musician, from Alaska to Dominica, but is proud to call Edmonton home. After spending much of his twenties performing on cruise ships, mostly in a jazz trio, he had an epiphany at age 30 to return to Canada before becoming a « lifelong traveler. »

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After playing with artists in the Toronto area, he was taken to Edmonton by Craig Schram to play in his band, The Provincial Archive. In between his work in the band, Park has also kept busy as a session/touring musician for Scott Cook, Leeroy Stagger, The Brasstactics, among many others.

Now Park is stepping into the solo spotlight with his album, River City Blues, something he says he’s been snacking on for a few years. Largely a solo project until recording the music himself in his home, River City Blues finds Park playing a variety of instruments on 10 folk tracks.

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Echoes of the provincial archives and the various artists Park has supported resonate through River City Blues, with some tracks tucked away in a pocket of alt-country or grooving to an indie-rock beat. While Park performs the majority of the music himself, he is also called upon in some guests: Here I Am sounds like a long-lost Wilco B-side thanks to Billie Zizi adding delicious electric guitar distortions and harmonies, while Dink Burns provides soulful pedal steel. licks On This Lonely Road. Erin Kay, Steve Badach, Cam Neufeld and Murray Wood also lend their expertise to various tracks.

Park isn’t the strongest of singers, but his muffled voice suits largely skeletal song arrangements. The only cover, Rainbow Connection, reimagines it as a last minute saloon waltz, more Willie Nelson than Kermit the Frog.

Bramwell Park’s debut album, River City Blues. Photo provided

River City Blues is an elegant introduction to Bramwell Park, the solo artist.

Bramwell Park will play an album release party at 9910 on Thursday, September 29.

Now you can listen to more local music with Edmonton Journal Fresh Tracks 2022, a Spotify playlist of singles from the 2022 albums we reviewed.


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