How do you describe yourself?
I’m a pretty fun-lovin’ gal. I have two arms and two legs and 10 fingers and 10 toes, and I just count my blessings every day. I’m an Aries, so I kind of wake up on fire and I go to bed on fire.
I really am lucky. I get to hang out and make music with my heroes and “sheroes.”
You’ve been performing with Shane Dwight lately. Who have you performed with in the past?
Shane and I are on a role right now. He’s a handsome booger; he’s not my boyfriend or anything, but we have a great brother-and-sistership. I feel like I’ve known him for 8 million years.
I’ve worked with Billy Joel, Elton John, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Bob Seger, Jonny Lang and Pete Anderson and Patti LaBelle and Rod Stewart, and, of course, Fleetwood Mac.
You were a part of Fleetwood Mac when Stevie Nicks stepped down from the band. Did they want you to try to replace her on stage?
I would have never gone into it had they said, “Be the stunt Stevie.” For one thing, there’s only one Stevie Nicks, and I’m not her. But I am Bekka Bramlett! They wanted me to be me. (I was more comfortable) after we got on the road and I realized no one was going to throw tomatoes.
There’s no filling Stevie’s shoes, but how do you walk into that spotlight? I’m not that good of an actress anyhow.
You first started touring as a musician when you were 17, and your parents were musicians, as well. What was it like growing up?
I was raised in a pretty musical family. Daddy went to heaven a few years ago, but mommy is still rockin.’ I’m not kidding — we have a session tomorrow! (laughs).
Daddy would bring over Eric Clapton, George Harrison, John Lennon, Robin Miller, Jimi Hendrix. I was little. All I knew was some of them had accents and b.o. Those were the times they were quote-unquote rock ’n’ rollers, and wore the same stinky leathers. Mama (Grandma) would wash their clothes. They would be recording, and mama would say, “Well, let me was them clothes for you.” They’d say, “It’s quite alright,” (Bramlett says in a British accent). And she’d go, “Oh, no, really, you stinky rock ’n’ rollers.”
I just remember their kindness ... . They were right there at my kitchen table and on my couch and on our floor.
When I got my first dose of my own record, it was a huge array of Stevie Wonder and Al Green, ELO, Boston, AC/DC, all the way down to “The Sound of Music” and Sheena Easton. I learned from everything that inspired me.
What do you like people to experience when they see you play?
You know that they’re people just like us, needing to get out of the house. I’m a hermit myself, and my friends call me up: “OK, hermit, I’m getting you out of the house.” So when they buy a ticket to a show, they may also be buying a new outfit and hiring a babysitter. Shoot, they may even get a limo just to go out and have a good night.
I like to let them sweat and rock and make out and have a ball — especially on a budget. If we can do all that, and see their hands in the air, then I feel like I’ve been a part of a good night.
You’ve played with a lot of musicians, and have a lot of heroes and “sheroes.” How does Mr. Shane Dwight compare?
He is exactly worthy of standing tall with all of my heroes — he really is. Talent means a natural gift from God, and he understands this. He keeps that humble gorgeousness that is the same thing as B.B. King, the same as Eric Clapton.
He realizes the power of words are forever. You can’t be willy nilly. You can’t be thoughtless. You have to be a sharing, kind person. Shane is like that.
— Lauren Nelson