When two-time Grammy winner Eric Marienthal announces that it’s time to make your first album, you don’t hesitate – you do exactly that. Released independently on August 19th, 2010, “Can’t Put It Down” contains 10 tracks. There are a number of interesting aspects to Rambur’s freshman effort. It is the first record, including his own, that Marienthal has produced completely and as the sole producer. Given that none other than Chick Corea produced Eric’s first record, he clearly had masterful examples to call upon for this effort. “Can’t Put It Down” is also the first time that Jazz Fusion giant Jeff Lorber and Marienthal wrote together for an artist other than themselves. That Lorber and Marienthal have a 25-year collaboration history, performing, writing and recording, makes this a notable ‘first.’ The several tracks written by Lorber and Marienthal are accompanied by tracks co-written by Rambur, Marienthal and others, including a cover of Leon Russell’s “This Masquerade.”

Little did Brad think while composing his first song on a guitar in the basement of family friends in Big Horn County Montana at the age of nine that there would be an album with songs on a Billboard chart. Nor did he think that three tracks from the record would be on one top 30 charts in the same week, nor in the top 10 on certain Internet rankings. Soon after the “basement guitar experience” his father’s job transfer to the Washington, D.C. area had him in a new school, and learning to play the saxophone. “It was a really great experience growing up there. There was a very strong music education program in the schools and an active musical community in the area. Patsy Cline was from 20 miles away, and they filmed the movie about her life in our town. Euge Groove grew up just two high schools away, and I had a classmate who is now the drummer for the heavy rock band Godsmack.” Stints in high school and college bands and a music performance scholarship to a university also came. Ultimately Rambur returned to San Diego, California, where his family is from, and completed his university education in Finance. He began a career working in related technology, travelling to several countries in the process. He continued to play when and wherever he could, even packing instruments on ten thousand mile work trips. “I remember being questioned by an Italian customs official, and responding that no, I wasn’t playing for work in Italy, but bringing the guitar into the country for personal use. It can be hard to practice a saxophone with a nine-hour time zone difference, so the guitar made more sense for that trip. You can at least do that at 2 AM local time. Music was always part of my life, just not always the primary profession,” he remarked.

How Brad met Eric Marienthal is an interesting story. “I was playing a gig at a café on Coast Highway in Solana Beach, California. This fellow hears us and stops his car and comes over. He says that he is a big fan of the sax, and did we want another gig? Well, you know how we answered that! After playing about three gigs for this guy, he comes up and says, “You know, I am friends with Eric Marienthal if you would like to meet him.” You know how I answered that, being a huge fan of his work and of the Electrik Band. I had no idea Eric actively coached other players and thought he would be a wonderful person to learn more about music from. This eventually progressed to a friendship beyond our get-togethers.” The opportunity to learn from the decades of experience that Eric has accumulated proved invaluable and culminated in an interesting way. ”We were at breakfast one morning, talking,” says Brad, “and I could have sworn I heard Eric say, “When we make your record” like three times. It was at that point I realized that if I didn’t ask him to produce it, I would be a complete fool! Eric at that point stepped into the role of producer and musical director. So we started by enlisting the help of Jeff Lorber, then writing some songs and recording. It was a phenomenal experience,” Rambur says, “being able to really see how a studio record - any record really - is made. As a “live” musician, there are different emphases and disciplines than say, skill in the studio. You can’t know that until you have spent a significant time at both.”

During the time the record was being recorded, Brad was in the middle of a 3 year run playing weekends at the beautiful La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California. There the composition, improvisation, bandleader, and ‘entertainer’ skills were honed. “What a great experience to have such a supportive and receptive place to play regularly, and even record part of the album in a Resort-sponsored event. I am deeply thankful for their support and participation in the development of the band, the album, and my career as a musician.“ Getting to play some KIFM 98.1 “Lite’s Out” Events were some of the best experiences at the resort, playing for folks that very much were interested in this kind of music.

The experience of making his first record, especially after having had a whole other career, a family, and still pursuing his passion has been in Brad’s words, “a dream come true! To be able to give my children this, and to be able to tell them that I was blessed with encouragement and help from great people to produce this, can’t ever be taken away. I hope that my kids see the ‘do what it takes to accomplish something’ aspect of this story and use it for their own benefit.”