If you are new to Zambi, Col. Bruce is a Southern musician, singer, actor, magician, artist, and soothsayer. He has been touring since 1963 with the bands IV of IX, Hampton Grease Band, Late Bronze Age, Aquarium Rescue Unit, and too many more to count. Since 2011, he has been playing with AJ “Wunder” Ghent as Col. Bruce Hampton and Pharaoh’s Kitchen.
“My music is country music, im just not sure which country” – Col. Bruce Hampton (Ret.)
As a member of the Hampton Grease Band, Bruce Hampton helped record the 1971 album Music to Eat, said to have been the second-worst-selling album in Columbia Records history. The worst selling album was a yoga instructional record.
Hampton’s band The Late Bronze Age consisted of Col. Hampton B. Coles, Ret. (Bruce Hampton) on vocals, slide guitar, mandolin, and chazoid; Ben “Pops” Thornton (Billy McPherson) on vocals, guitar, saxophones, and keyboards; Lincoln Metcalfe (Ricky Keller) on bass, guitar, brass, and vocals; and Bubba Phreon (Jerry Fields) on drums, percussion, trombone, and vocals.
Hampton helped start the 1990s seminal H.O.R.D.E. tours. The best known of his bands to play H.O.R.D.E. is the jazz-rock outfit Aquarium Rescue Unit, which featured improvisational music all-stars Oteil Burbridge, Jimmy Herring, Rev. Jeff Mosier, Matt Mundy and Jeff Sipe.
Hampton was the voice of Warren, a talking potted shrubbery, in a 1998 episode (entitled “Warren”) of the TV show Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Hampton played Morris, the songwriting band manager, in Billy Bob Thornton’s 1996 film Sling Blade. He also starred in Mike Gordon’s 2001 film Outside Out teaching guitar ‘out’struction.
Grammy Award nominated blues singer and longtime friend Susan Tedeschi wrote a song about Bruce called “Hampmotized.” It appears on her 2002 release Wait For Me. Hampton returned the favor on his most recent album with the song “Susan T”.