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  • Writer's pictureMorgan Short

Graham Bramblett, Singer-Songwriter - The Art of Noticing

Updated: Apr 28

In an episode that strikes a chord, Singer-Songwriter, Graham Bramblett shares his journey from the heart of Texas to Nashville and beyond. His story is marked by the highs and lows of a musician's path, the fight against addiction, the art of noticing, and the pursuit of authenticity.

Graham's Early Musical Influences

Graham Bramblett's musical journey begins with his upbringing in Texas, where music was a constant presence in his family life. Growing up in a household where classical piano pieces coexisted with the iconic sounds of Texas singer-songwriters like Jerry Jeff Walker, George Strait, and Willie Nelson, Bramblett was exposed to a wide range of musical styles from an early age. This diverse musical environment, coupled with the rock and roll influences of Roy Orbison and Chuck Berry introduced by his father, played a crucial role in shaping his artistic versatility.

Bramblett's early fascination with the piano, where he experimented with harmony and dissonance, highlights his innate curiosity about music, leading him to approach it with enthusiasm rather than as a mere obligation. During his childhood, he immersed himself in varied musical influences, laying the groundwork for his multifaceted talent.

A Songwriter Through and Through As Bramblett's passion for music deepened, he pursued a path of exploration that extended beyond traditional training. His method of learning drums by playing along to radio songs illustrates his self-guided approach to mastering instruments.

This drive to explore and discover on his own terms propelled him into the world of songwriting, where he could blend lyrics with melodies in a personal and meaningful way. Transitioning through piano, drums, and eventually guitar, each instrument opened new avenues for creative expression.

His relocation to Nashville prompted songwriting to emerge as not just a hobby, but a vocation. Despite receiving mixed feedback on his voice and songs in the early days, Bramblett's story is one of perseverance and self-confidence. He remains committed to producing music that reflects his true self, navigating the challenges of the music industry with resilience.

Graham's approach to songwriting takes the abstract and mundane moments of life into melodies that speak to the soul. He shares insights into his unique process, from the initial spark of inspiration to the final stroke of the pen, crafting songs that are both deeply personal and universally relatable.

His albums "Under the Lights" and "Standard Harmony" stand as milestones in his career, each track a chapter in his ongoing narrative of growth and self-discovery.

The Art of Noticing

While Graham was touring someone said to him, "Don't forget to notice it."

This practice, as he recounts, is about being present and mindful of the moments that unfold in our lives.He emphasizes that noticing the details of our surroundings, the nuances of our interactions, and the beauty of everyday moments can significantly enrich our creativity.

This habit serves as the engine of artistic expression and provides a foundation for a fulfilled life. The art of noticing is a way of living that brings depth and authenticity to our lives.

Graham shares the story of how he wrote a song after observing the sound of windshield wipers during a rainstorm. The single, Follows Me Down will be released on March 8th.

Renewed Clarity and Purpose through Recovery

In the episode, Graham is candid about his battles with addiction. Graham's journey to sobriety is a pivotal chapter in his life, marking a profound transformation personally and creatively.

In 2010, after a decade in Nashville, Graham found himself at a crossroads, grappling with burnout and excessive drinking. His decision to relocate to Minnesota was a step toward reclaiming his life and health. April of that year became a milestone as he embarked on the path of sobriety, a choice that led him to spend the next eight years in the Twin Cities. This period of recalibration was essential, as music initially took a backseat, allowing Graham the space to reevaluate his direction and aspirations. His narrative reveals a significant shift in focus, from a life once clouded by alcohol to one of clarity and renewed purpose.

Graham's reentry into the world of music was serendipitous, sparked by an invitation to a songwriter showcase in St. Paul. This reintroduction reminded him of his passion for songwriting and the joy it brought, reigniting his drive to create music for the sake of expression, rather than for external validation or commercial success.

Sobriety brought a newfound security in his creative process, enabling him to write songs that were more authentic and reflective of his true self. The contrast between his time in Nashville, striving to pen hits that would appeal to others, and his post-sobriety phase, focused on personal meaningfulness, highlights a significant evolution in his approach to songwriting. Graham's recovery allowed him to rediscover his artistic voice, illustrating the profound impact sobriety can have on creativity and authenticity.

Striking a Balance with a 9-5 and a Passion for Music

After his significant personal transformation through sobriety and rekindling his love for music in Minnesota, Graham faced the challenge of integrating his musical aspirations with the need for stability and well-being.

Graham's engagement with his day job at Tractor Supply didn't just provide financial stability, it actually also opened up an unexpected avenue for his music. Winning an internal songwriting contest at Tractor Supply highlights how we can find and nurture creativity within the confines of a 9-5 job. Maybe passion and profession don't need to be at odds afterall?

Opportunities for artistic expression can emerge in the most unlikely of places. In fact, as fate would have it, Tractor Supply actually brought Graham back out to Nashville for a second chance to explore music in a city that pulses with creative energy.

Graham is able to have a fulfilling career while actively pursuing a passion for music, offering hope for others striving to find harmony between their artist journey and the practicalities of daily life.

His story is a powerful reminder that with the right mindset and opportunities, we can navigate the complexities of balancing a day job with a deep-seated passion for art and music. Graham reminds us of the power of staying true to our artistic vision, resisting the pressures to fit molds, and finding beauty in the authenticity of our own voices.

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