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Blues - Released October 5, 2018 | Provogue

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Blues - Released October 5, 2018 | Provogue Records

It took Doyle Bramhall II 15 years to deliver Rich Man, the sequel to 2001's Welcome, but only two to follow that 2016 record with Shades. Appropriately, Shades feels looser than its predecessor and more direct, too. Where Rich Man was dotted with epics, Bramhall keeps things generally concise on Shades, and he also firmly grounds the album in soul. The first sounds on Shades may recall the thick, heavy blues grooves of the Black Keys but by the time Bramhall gets to the chorus of "Love and Pain," he spins the song into classic '60s R&B. He's too restless a musician to stay there -- with the Greyhounds, he kicks up some noise on "Live Forever," the Tedeschi Trucks Band pulls out some deep blues on a cover of Bob Dylan's "Going Going Gone," and he indulges in psychedelia on "Parvanah" -- but he keeps circling back to sounds steeped in Southern soul. It results in a more cohesive album than its predecessor, but it's the lack of fussiness that makes Shades a better record: now that he's just knocking out songs and records, his music feels bracing and immediate. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 1996 | Geffen

With Doyle Bramhall II, the bluesman continues to move deeper into soul, which isn't surprising considering that Wendy & Lisa, Prince's collaborators during the mid-'80s, produced it. While there is still a distinct bluesy bent to his guitar playing, the material is more soul-oriented and polished than before, which will initially alienate some of his contemporary blues fans. However, the album shows considerable musical invention and skill, particularly during its instrumental passages. It's just unfortunate that it loses momentum due to inconsistent songwriting. © Thom Owens /TiVo
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Blues - Released February 7, 1994 | Texas Music Group

Well, they say the best things in life are worth waiting for -- drummer Bramhall started recording this tasty blues-rock album in 1980, wrapping it up in 1992 -- here it is, out on Antone's in 1994. Not a shabby effort, either -- Bramhall has that big smoky Bob Seger kind of voice, and the music is muscular and warm, a friendly, welcome bar-rock kind of sound. Good stuff, I say. © Steven McDonald /TiVo
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Blues - Released August 9, 2018 | Provogue