Doyle Bramhall
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Doyle Bramhall

Alpine, Texas, United States | INDIE

Alpine, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Rock


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"Is It News"

Nostalgic and slammin’ at the same time, Is It News makes it clear that Bramhall is as vital a part of Austin’s musical history as Stevie Ray and all the other giants who’ve rocked the town over these past 30-plus years.
~Drum! - Drum!

"Is It News"

Those quick to stuff Texas journeyman Doyle Bramhall, the rare singer-songwriter-drummer, into the one-word category of blues do so at the risk of ignoring the “rhythm &” part of his sound. With the Bo Diddley stomp right out of the gate on “Lost In The Congo,” it’s hard to miss.
~Rick Cornell

- No Depression

"Bird Nest On The Ground"

"As a writer, Doyle Bramhall was instrumental in stretching the scope of modern blues through his collaborating with Stevie Ray Vaughan - Note the supple yet forward motion of Change It; known as one of Stevie Ray's best numbers... Doyle wrote it and claims his share here."
~Raygun - Raygun

"Bird Nest On The Ground"

"...This satisfying album, recorded over 13 years by legendary Texas R&B/Blues Singer/Songwriter Doyle Bramhall, (he drums too - an awesome combination)...If you think he sounds like Stevie Ray, you've got it backwards - he shaped Vaughan's vocal style."~USA Today - USA Today

"Bird Nest On The Ground"

"...can sing blues and R&B like a down home native... It's Bramhall's soulful, effortless way with both period covers and his own trad-conscious originals that's the radiant hub of the record..."
~Musician - Musician

"Bird Nest On The Ground"

"Where so many blues pretenders seem like carpetbaggers, Bramhall sounds like a Texan singing Texas music, in a voice that is as individual as his heartbeat."
~Austin American Statesman - Austin American Statesman

"Fitchburg Street"

Doyle Bramhall unleashes a torrent of gutbucket Texas blues the likes of which haven't been heard since Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Texas Flood" in 1983." ~Washington Post - Washington Post

"Is It News"

Maybe it’s because Doyle Bramhall is a drummer, a position in any band that by helping to provide backbone rhythm, frequently instills in the musician a comfortable discretion, a willingness to remain part of the ensemble. There are exceptions of course, ranging from Buddy Rich to Keith Moon, but as a frontman, Doyle Bramhall is definitely and disarmingly a team player. The closest he gets to showboating is on the song called, “Big,” in which his drums boom thunderously and his hoarse yowl takes on a boastful assertion. More often, however, Bramhall mines the unhappiness of the blues for his best music. Born in Dallas, coming of musical age in the Texas bohemia of Austin, Bramhall is open to all sorts of music, including the New Orleans shuffle he applies to “Tortured Soul.” It’s an eloquently trenchant summation of what it feels like to verge on and to resist despair.

Yes, it’s when Bramhall embraces the loneliness in himself and others, and constructs melodies that require the sharp snap of his drums to cut off mere self pity and a willingness to believe that others can be as miserable as he can be that he achieves his best music.

I don’t usually have much use for white blues, even that of Bramhall’s former employer and collaborator Stevie Ray Vaughan. That’s probably because too many white bluesmen emulate the superiority of the black masters of their genre, to such an extent that their own identities become blurry. This is not true of Bramhall who pounds his drums with a propulsive melancholy; who sings with plaintiveness; his decades of music making giving him both gravity and a fleet assurance that anyone he loves whether It’s a woman or his audience, is in good, strong, calloused hands.
Ken Tucker
Editor at large, Entertainment Weekly
Reviewed on Fresh Air

- Fresh Air

"Is It News"

Is It News is loud and proud, full of twists and turns in its eclectic production. …But it’s also very warm…Thankfully; all you have to do to reproduce this feeling is play it again…. Is It News is nearly hip beyond belief. Who would have thought this kinda cool still existed? ~Thom Hurek
All Music

- All Music Guide

"Is It News"

Artist: Doyle Bramhall
Song: "I’ll Take You Away"
Album: Is It News
Label: Yep Roc

Living close to the ground, some artists have such a connection with their spirits that listening to
them sing is like entering the room where they live. There is no pretense or affectation, just a feeling
of real privacy and passion. The world is stripped to its essence and immediately upon hearing
someone like this, the windows and doors open and a fresh breeze that blows in makes the world a
much more hopeful place to live. Doyle Bramhall has been sharing his soul on the bandstand for
most of his life. He sits behind a drum set, but sings like he belongs in the center of the universe.
The songs he writes, both alone and with others-for many years with Stevie Ray Vaughan-are
usually in the universal language of love, and none are stronger than "I'll Take You Away" from last
year's Is It News album. It's so good you'll swear you've heard it all your life. With a gang of guitar
players like son Doyle Bramhall II, Denny Freeman (now in Bob Dylan's band), CC Adcock and Mike
Keller, the music is a swampy slice of the real South, no substitutes allowed. But it's Bramhall's
vocal that turns the track into a promise fulfilled, one where the knight on a white horse he sings
about rides to the rescue and turns the dark skies into a shining dawn, all within four and a half
minutes. Unbelievable.
— 06/16/2008 - Sonic Boomers


Solo releases:
2008 Grammy nominee, Is It News (Yep Roc 2007)
Fitchburg Street (Yep Roc 2003)
Bird Nest On The Ground (Antone's 1994)


2:30 Music /Doyle's publishing company
administered by Bug Music, Inc.
Songwriting affiliation: BMI
Discography-a work in progress:

Doyle Bramhall
Born Feb 17, 1949 in Dallas, TX
Years Active 1964 to Present
Genres Blues/Soul/Rock
Styles Texas Blues, Electric Texas Blues, Modern
Electric Blues
Instruments Vocals, Drums, Guitar

Various Artists Texas Music, Vol. 3: Garage Bands...
(Rhino 1994) w/ The Chessmen
(original recording 1965) Vocals, Drums

Marcia Ball
Hot Tamale Baby (Rounder 1985) Drums, Harmony

Rocky Hill
Rocky Hill (Virgin 1988) Drums, Composer,
Vocals (bckgr)

Zu Zu Bolin
Texas Bluesman (Antone’s 1989) Drums

Vaughan Brothers
Family Style (Epic 1990) Drums, Composer

Dreams Come True (Antone’s 1990) Drums

Toni Price
Hey (Discovery 1995) Drums

Various Artists
Antone's 20th Anniversary (Antone’s 1996) Vocals ,

Teisco Del Rey
Plays Music for Lovers (Upstart 1996) Drums

Sarah Brown
Sayin' What I'm Thinkin' (Blind Pig 1996) Drums

Marcia Ball
Let Me Play with Your Poodle (Rounder 1997)
Guest Vocal

Circle (Pachyderm 2000) Producer, Arranger, Vocals
(bckgr), Drums, Tympani, Rhythm Guitar, Composer

Chris Duarte Group
Love Is Greater Than Me (Zoe 2000) Producer,
Percussion, Drums

Marcia Ball
Presumed Innocent (Alligator 2001) Producer, Drums,
Vocals (bckgr), Composer
Named Blues Album of the Year at the
23rd annual W. C. Handy Blues Awards

Jennifer Warnes
The Well (Sindrome 2001) Guest Vocal, Drums,
Percussion, Composer

Doyle songs have been recorded by:

Jennifer Warnes
The Well

B.B. King
Buddy Guy
Tribute To Stevie Ray Vaughan

Marcia Ball
Presumed Innocent



Rocky Hill
Rocky Hill

Jake Andrews
Time to Burn

Terry Cashman
Talkin' Baseball (Baseball and the Trib..)

The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Guitar Slinger

Melvin Taylor & The Slack Band
Dirty Pool

Vaughan Brothers
Family Style

Original Soundtrack
Major League 2

And Stevie Ray Vaughan recordings:
Texas Flood, Soul to Soul, Live Alive, In Step, The Sky Is Crying, Greatest Hits 1 & 2, Live At Carnegie Hall, SRV Boxed Set, Live From Montreaux



Doyle Bramhall's Is It News
Grammy Nominated for
Best Contemporary Blues Album

It’s apropos that DOYLE BRAMHALL’s new Yep Roc CD is titled Is It News because, although they’re absolutely true to his deep roots in the blues, its dozen original tunes mark a turning point that is both ambitious and the logical summation of his artistic evolution. The answer to the forward- thinking, envelope-pushing CD’s title is a resounding yes—and the news is all good!
“I wanted to make an all-original record that was big, energetic, intimate, and unpredictable,” Doyle states. “We got a lot of the sounds by pushing everything to the limit and then pulling it back from there.”
Fans already accustomed to Doyle’s high standards and willingness to chart new territory will nonetheless be pleased and surprised at just how high he raises the bar. This instant classic is the benchmark of Bramhall’s storied career—which is saying a lot! Continuing the tradition he started with the songs he co-wrote with Stevie Ray Vaughan, which struck a chord with the biggest audience the blues has ever enjoyed, he deftly expands the idiom’s vocabulary and texture.
Any discussion of Texas blues, be it T-Bone Walker or Stevie Ray, is incomplete without mention of Doyle Bramhall. As singer, songwriter, and drummer, he has been an integral part of that rich state’s music for almost 40 years and, indeed, one of the founding fathers of the blues/roots resurgence synonymous with the Lone Star state and the migration from Dallas to its musical epicenter, Austin. Considering the impact Texas, the state and the state of mind, has had on music around the globe, Bramhall’s importance cannot be overstated.
Growing up in Dallas, his Chessmen opened for Jimi Hendrix in 1968, when Doyle was still in his teens. Moving to Austin with the band’s guitarist, Jimmie Vaughan, the two formed Storm, which Bramhall eventually left to form the Nightcrawlers—this time with Vaughan’s little brother, Stevie Ray. Two Bramhall compositions, “Change It” and “Lookin’ Out The Window,” became linchpins of Stevie’s repertoire, and the pair began a fruitful songwriting collaboration that yielded seven more classics—including “The House Is Rockin’,” “Tightrope” and “Wall of Denial” from In Step, and three tunes from the Vaughan Brothers’ Family Style, which featured Bramhall on drums.
The term legend is bandied about, often in reference to Doyle, but there are few triple-threats as strong—as songwriter, singer (cited by Stevie Ray as his biggest vocal influence), and instrumentalist (blues queen Lou Ann Barton calls him as “the best drummer in the South”). So it was little surprise that his 1994 album, Bird Nest On The Ground, was such a powerful debut. Following that success, he produced critically acclaimed albums by Marcia Ball, Indigenous, and Chris Duarte, while leading his own rocking band. His follow-up CD, Fitchburg Street, was a heartfelt ode to the blues and R&B he heard during his formative years in Big D—which also happens to be Doyle’s nickname, to differentiate between him and his son, guitar great Doyle Bramhall II.
Doyle II is just one of the guitar greats Bramhall enlisted for Is It News. Bandmates from the past Denny Freeman and Jimmie Vaughan turn in stellar performances, along with Mike Keller, Charles “C.C.” Adcock, and Mato Nanji of Indigenous—as do bassist Scott Nelson, keyboardist Billy Etheridge, and others.
Louisiana swamp-rocker Adcock co-produced the CD with Doyle. “I had a vision for this record,” Bramhall explains, “and, because I love Charles’s records and lyrics and the way he records, I really wanted him to be involved. Charles said he could come up for a few days, and he ended up staying for two years.”
Of that vision, Doyle notes, “I’m not comparing myself to them, but I always loved the way the Beatles recorded, especially later on, where they approached each song differently and experimented with all kinds of sounds. I wanted to try different things and have everything complement each other—the rhythms and melodies—without getting in each other’s way. I wanted this album to have a totally different feel. Grab whatever’s in the studio and see how it sounds.”
Adcock agrees: “Every day we’d pick a song and see where it went. ‘Tortured Soul’ started out as a shuffle, but ended up like a New Orleans street parade.
‘Cryin’ is a shuffle and a 6/8 Fats Domino feel at the same time.” “We recorded ‘Cryin’’ in Mike Napolitano’s studio in New Orleans several months after Katrina,” Bramhall details. “I was thinking of that song ‘No Other Baby’ that McCartney did on Run Devil Run, and then I heard ‘Lonely Blue Boy’ by Conway Twitty. In about two days I had it written, and then C.C. came up with the outro.

Band Members