Doyle Bramhall II
Doyle Bramhall II was born in Austin, Texas on December 24, 1968, and his father, Doyle Bramhall, Sr., played drums with various bands, including Texas Storm, which he co-led with Jimmie Vaughan. Taking up the guitar, Doyle II followed his father into the world of the blues, touring with Vaughan's Fabulous Thunderbirds. Late in 1990 he formed a rock band, Arc Angels, with fellow guitarist Charlie Sexton. The other two members of the band were bass player Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton, both former sidemen with Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Arc Angels folded in October 1993 and, after a period of treatment for substance abuse, Bramhall resumed his career, forming the Mighty Zor with Shannon and Layton (and occasionally Sexton). In the mid-'90s, Bramhall released his own debut album and soon thereafter was in demand as a sideman with rock luminaries Roger Waters and Eric Clapton for tours and recording sessions. Clapton used two of Bramhall's compositions, "Marry You" and "I Wanna Be," on 2000's Riding with the King, recorded in collaboration with B.B. King. "Superman Inside," written by Bramhall with his wife, Susannah Melvoin, was recorded by Clapton on the following year's Reptile. Bramhall also led Smokestack, whose personnel included vocalist Melvoin, keyboard player Benmont Tench, guitarist Craig Ross, bass player Chris Bruce, and drummer J.J. Johnson. Bramhall has earned considerable respect from a wide array of musicians for his work as a sideman and as a composer. Among artists with whom he has performed, and sometimes recorded, are his father (who passed away in 2011), C.C. Adcock, Sheryl Crow, Bettye LaVette, Lisa Marie Presley, and Susan Tedeschi. Bramhall continued to support luminaries throughout the 2000s and 2010s, returning to solo action in 2016 with Rich Man, his first album in 15 years. Two years later, he delivered Shades, his first album for Provogue Records.
© TiVo Staff /TiVo
© TiVo Staff /TiVo
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Rock - Released February 25, 2003 | Yep Roc Records
Doyle Bramhall began his music career on Fitchburg Street in Dallas, and on his album of the same name he applies a healthy slathering of Texas style to some rock, blues, and soul songs from his youth (and one of his own creations). It's a recipe for a raw, messy, and delicious delight for fans of rough-and-tumble bar band blues. Bramhall's style of Texas blues sounds a lot like Stevie Ray Vaughan, and with good reason: Bramhall influenced the Vaughan style, having co-written some of Vaughan's hits, including "Life by the Drop." While Vaughan played it as a soul-wrenching acoustic number on the posthumous The Sky Is Crying, Bramhall picks up the pace to make it a full-throttle rocker. Bramhall's voice is even reminiscent of Vaughan's on many tracks. His vocals are a joyful noise -- what he lacks in talent he makes up for with feeling. He sings with so much enthusiasm on "I'd Rather Be (Blind, Crippled & Crazy)" that you can't help but want to sing along. As befits a Texas blues album, each song features excellent guitar work, and the star guitar belongs to Bramhall's son, Doyle Bramhall II. Doyle the younger plays a mean rhythm guitar and his tone often sounds stolen directly from Vaughan. His shuffle playing on John Lee Hooker's "Dimples" is a dead ringer for Vaughan, while his interpretation of the Band of Gypsies' "Changes" shows that he has some imagination and style of his own. Bramhall's son plays on four tracks, and they shine the most, although the other guitarists and numerous musicians on the album (Bramhall has a lot of friends, it seems) play as tightly as any veteran bar band, held together by Bramhall's solid drumming. The only exception comes on "Sugar (Where'd You Get Your Sugar From)," where Dave Sebree's sloppy slide goes a bit too far out of tune (try a second take next time, guys). But that small misstep can't taint this fun journey through Bramhall's musical memories. © Michael Gowan /TiVo