Articles and Interviews
Atlanta Journal Constitution - March 2016
Why Col. Bruce Hampton Signed Up For 'Here Comes Rusty' by Jon Waterhouse
Stealing a scene from Billy Bob Thornton in the 1996 Academy Award-winning film “Sling Blade” may be enough cinematic bragging rights for some. For actor and jam band elder statesman Col. Bruce Hampton — call him the Southern Zappa — it’s just another stripe on the proverbial uniform. Now 20 years later, Hampton continues to put down the guitar long enough to periodically pop up in front of the camera. With the feature flick “Here Comes Rusty” premiering at the Atlanta Film Festival, Hampton slides into the starring role, leading the troops, including acclaimed funny man Fred Willard and actress Joey Lauren Adams...
Music City Roots - July 2016
The Moment – MCR 7.13.16 by Craig Havighurst
What a thrill. I got to sit down before Roots this week for a formal interview with the great Col. Bruce Hampton, that amazing paradox of an artist who’s still leading badass bands at age 69. He’s a musical space captain who never did drugs and a ... guy who led probably the singular hippie music revolution of the 1990s. We talked about Frank Zappa and the Allman Brothers and how the H.O.R.D.E. Tours ushered in the jam band era. And the musician and artist that is The Colonel kept circling back to the point, which is the essence, which is the way, which is, as he said “capturing the moment.” That’s the point, if we’re open enough to get it....
Paste Magazine - September 2015
The Return of Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit by Jerry Grillo
There’s Col. Bruce Hampton (Ret.) at the end of the bar, a few miles from his suburban Atlanta home, drinking iced tea, staring into his smart phone. My butt doesn’t hit the stool before he starts in with the trivia, the minutiae, the fascinating sleight of hand that can steer any question or conversation away from relevant information, such as the meaning of Hampton’s strange lyrics, or the reasons that band broke up, or this musician went missing. He looks up from the phone and says, “rank the guys in the band by height, tallest to shortest. Can you do it?” I can’t. Quick note: When he says “the band,” he means the Aquarium Rescue Unit...
The Wall Street Journal - July 2015
Col. Bruce Hampton and Aquarium Rescue Unit Reunite, This Time With Rehearsals by Alan Paul
In the early ’90s, Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit emerged from Atlanta. The group featured an array of young hotshot musicians fronted by Hampton, who had been a fixture in the city’s musical avant-garde since his late ’60s group the Hampton Grease Band, which had an unlikely and important advocate in Duane Allman....
Relix - May 2014
The Jamband Velvet Underground: Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit by Alan Paul
Relix and former Guitar World writer Alan Paul writes about seeing Col. Bruce Hampton and The Aquarium Rescue Unit for the first time: 1992 - New York City
Creative Loafing - April 2014
In the Pharoah's Kitchen: Col. Bruce Hampton is still cookin' after all these years by Hal Horowitz
There isn't nearly enough space here to recap the extensive, colorful, and confusing history of Atlanta's granddaddy of all things jam, Col. Bruce Hampton, who now adds "Ret." to his moniker. But from his 1969 emergence as the leader of the ahead-of-its-time Hampton Grease Band through stints with a wildly diverse set of curiously named outfits, including the Late Bronze Age, the Codetalkers, the Fiji Mariners, the Quark Alliance, and, most notoriously, the Aquarium Rescue Unit, his idiosyncratic influence has been felt by every major roots/jam musician who has emerged from the Peach State.
... On Pharoah's Kitchen [sic], Hampton's first solo effort since 2008's Songs of the Solar Ping, the singer, songwriter, guitarist, and auteur coalesces many of his past musical strains successfully into a nine-track, 36-minute album that flows with surprising ease, channeled through his charmingly offbeat and eclectic mindset....
JamBands.com - October 2012
Lew Soloff Sits in with Col. Bruce for JamBands.com
Col Bruce Hampton & Pharaoh’s Kitchen with AJ Ghent headlined New York’s Brooklyn Bowl on Wednesday night. Noted jazz trumpeter Lew Soloff recently moved to the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn and attended the show. He also sat in with Hampton for a few songs, marking the first time the trumpeter has ever performed at a Brooklyn club. Soloff’s credits include work with everyone from Frank Sinatra, Gil Evans and Dizzy Gillespie to George Benson, Blood, Sweat & Tears and Bobby Previte.On other news, Hampton has confirmed his New Year’s plans. He will close 2012 at Macon, GA’s Hummingbird Stage & Taproom. This evening he will appear at Albany, GA’s Georgia Throwdown.
Music City Roots - July 2012
So Glad by Craig Havighurst
... Gentle too was the opening of Col. Bruce’s set, but it didn’t stay that way. The song’s called “Arkansas” but you’d guess its title was “It’s About Time,” given the way that refrain repeats over and over against a slow, slippery beat. The groove was deeply satisfying and the Colonel sang like a man possessed by the spirit of Howlin’ Wolf ... By the end of the jazz infused closer “Basically Frightened” there were off-kilter ideas and righteous sounds flying everywhere. It was more than a little bit fun...
Arts Atlanta - March 2012
Preview: “Basically Frightened” expertly chronicles long, strange trip of Col. Bruce Hampton by Scott Freeman
... It’s impossible to sum up the life of Col. Bruce Hampton (Ret.) in a few sentences. It’s a life filled with many things that seem too outlandish, too absurd, to be true, and yet they are. He’s Zelig, turned up to 11 ... “You’ve got to live a life,” Hampton likes to say. “I don’t think I’ve ever lived my life; I’m living someone else’s life.” ...
Glide Magazine - March 2012
"Basically Frightened: The Musical Madness of Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret." by Scott Bernstein
... A new documentary ... aims to peel back the layers of intrigue and mystery surrounding jam scene father figure Colonel Bruce Hampton ...
Rolling Stone Magazine - March 2012
Allman Brothers Finish March Run at the Beacon Minus Gregg but in High Gear by David Fricke
... Georgia cult legend Col. Bruce Hampton, in turn, was a contemporary of the 1969-1971 Allmans, in the more dada-esque Hampton Grease Band. His second-set take on Willie Dixon's "Spoonful," with Haynes and guitarist Derek Trucks flanking Hampton's robust snarl with dogfighting fills, was a tantalizing suggestion of what his old band must have sounded like live, with all that motor and a little less surrealism...
Creative Loafing - January 2007
Col. Bruce To The Rescue [Cover Story] by Scott Freeman
... Col. Bruce Hampton may well be the single most important figure in the history of rock music in Atlanta. And
yet he will talk about failure until he throws up his hands in defeat and succumbs to a fit of laughter. He talks about his first band in high school, and how he'd get onstage and jump around like a madman, and about how he got so crazed during one school dance that the chaperones turned the lights on and told everyone -- especially the band -- to go home ...
Relix Magazine - April 2012
H.O.R.D.E 20 Years On [Cover Story]
... On the 20th anniversary of The Great American H.O.R.D.E. Festival, Relix celebrates the traveling festival’s first year with an insightful retrospective, courtesy of executive editor Dean Budnick. Featuring Phish, Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, The Aquarium Rescue Unit and Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, the inaugural tour brought together the jam scene’s brightest rising stars to create a sum greater than its parts ...