Doyle Bramhall II

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Born in Dallas in 1949, this singer/songwriter/drummer grew up listening to Dallas radio (with heavy doses of Jimmy Reed, Ray Charles, and Bobby Blue Bland on rock & roll stations) and locals the Nightcaps, one of the country’s first white electric blues bands. In high school he joined the Chessmen, which soon included a young Jimmie Vaughan on guitar; they opened in Dallas on Jimi Hendrix’s first U.S. tour. Moving to Austin in 1970, he and Vaughan formed Texas Storm, which later shortened its name to Storm and occasionally included Jimmie’s younger brother Stevie on bass. Doyle next formed the Nightcrawlers with Stevie (now on lead guitar), who later credited Bramhall as a primary vocal influence. During this time the two also co-wrote “Dirty Pool,” which Vaughan included on his debut, Texas Flood. Doyle wrote or co-wrote seven more songs on subsequent Stevie Ray albums, and collaborated on three for Family Style by the Vaughan Brothers (which also featured Bramhall on drums). While drumming with Marcia Ball and Mason Ruffner in the early ’80s, Bramhall began stockpiling solo recordings, which eventually comprised his long-awaited debut on CD, featuring both Vaughans and Doyle’s son, guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, formerly of the Arc Angels. He also began a collaboration that proved interesting — with pop singer Jennifer Warnes. The striking Bird Nest on the Ground appeared in 1994 from Discovery, followed by Fitchburg Street in 2003 and Is It News in 2007, both from Yep Roc. Bramhall died in his sleep on November 12, 2011 in Alpine, Texas. He was 62. ~ Dan Forte