Doyle Bramhall II
Doyle Bramhall II is an American blues musician known for his work with Eric Clapton, Jimmie Vaughan, Roger Waters and his own band Arc Angels.
Doyle Bramhall II stands as one of the most distinctive vocalists, guitarists, composers and producers in contemporary music. Eric Clapton, with whom Bramhall II has collaborated for more than a decade, cites the guitarist as one of the most gifted players he has ever encountered.
Bramhall II was raised in a home filled with the blues and rock & roll sounds that are indigenous to Texas; the state of his birth. His father, Doyle Bramhall, played drums for blues legends Lightning Hopkins and Freddie King and was also an accomplished songwriter and vocalist. Bramhall was a life long collaborator with childhood friends, Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan, composing such signature classics as “Change It” and “Life By The Drop”.
When Doyle was 18, he was recruited by Jimmie Vaughan to play with the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Bramhall II’s reputation blossomed and two years later, he co-founded the Arc Angels with Charlie Sexton and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section; Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon. Their self-titled debut album, fueled by such popular songs as “Living In A Dream” and “Sent By Angels” enjoyed wide success.
In the aftermath of two critically acclaimed solo albums Jellycream and Welcome, Bramhall II’s unparalleled skills as guitarist won the attention of both Eric Clapton and Roger Waters. Waters showcased the guitarist on his In The Flesh tour and accompanying album. Eric Clapton featured Bramhall II’s songs and guitar work as part of Riding With The King, his Grammy winning project with B.B. King. Clapton then recruited Bramhall II to join him on a full time basis and their association flourished. The guitarist toured with Clapton throughout the world and their dramatic interplay thrilled fans and immediately drew comparisons to past triumphs such as Derek & The Dominoes. Bramhall II’s distinctive guitar work—he is a left handed player who plays a right handed strung guitar flipped upside down—left an indelible mark on Clapton albums such as Me And Mr. Johnson and Searching For Robert J. Both projects were highlighted by Bramhall II and Clapton stirring duets in the same Dallas room where Robert Johnson had originally recorded his legendary songs in 1937. Bramhall II songwriting prowess would also be featured as part of Reptile, Back Home and Road To Escondido. He would next co-produce Clapton’s two most recent albums, Clapton and 2013’s Old Sock.
In addition to Clapton, Bramhall II has been in demand as composer, guitarist and producer, collaborating with such as artists as Sheryl Crow, Tedeschi Trucks, Elton John, Questlove, Gary Clark Jr., Erykah Badu, Gregg Allman, Robert Randolph, T-Bone Burnett, Meshell Ndegeocello, Dr. John and many others. Bramhall has produced several records, including Crow’s popular 100 Miles From Memphis.