Doyle Bramhall II

Rich Man 


So far, every one of Mr Bramhall’s album releases have been full of fine songs, spirited singing, lively arrangements and in their best moments, stuttering smokestack-belching howling and spitting chunks of guitar-playing. The kind of stuff that would pin the likes Simon Cowell to the back wall and belch soot all over his plain white t shirt……Cowell and co recoil from fiery elemental music. For them it’s Gary Barlow, not Clark Jnr and Olly Murs not Oli Brown. Their loss, they will forever thrive selling anodyne karaoke to the Saturday night TV..but miss out on everything that made rock and real R&B The People’s Music. So we welcome a new collection form this talented cove…

Doyle is one of those guys who plays left-handed. But with conventional stringing – like soul brother Eric Gales – so the thinnest string is closest to his chin, as it were. I will add a clip in the article to explain…

Mama Can’t Help You starts the record and has a heavy loping beat, that distinctive DB voice testifying over that rich twanging guitar and cooing Hammond. At 2:15 the axe bursts into life with a hint of Octaver. It’s a good funk song with a distant echo of Pop Staples; November is a moody one with a throaty effect on the guitar and an uncluttered melodic path. Bramhall sounds relaxed as the Hi style horns cruise in, dirtier than Cray, less anguished than Gary Clark. The wah figures fit well.

The Veil is taken slowly with emphatic bass figures and a reverbed vocal, very close to Cray territory but looser; My People commences with Eastern twisting motifs and is a saturnine 12 string (three of them) mantra; New Faith finds Doyle lamenting the lack of love in the world, switch on the TV News anytime and you’ll see what fuels this! If that sounds like Norah Jones singing along..well IT IS!

Keep You Dreamin’ is right up my street, Blaxploitation film tread and dark alley vocal, a really great funk tune with lighter segments. Slivers of wah guitar splash like raindrops on a windscreen. At 3:00 the guitar starts to squeal then eases off to chug in again later. Hands Up eluded me, couldn’t grasp the beat and it sounds unfinished somehow. Rich Man the title cut is a shadowy thang, with mysterious lyric and sombre strings shading, some Dap-Kings aboard. Harmony starts with those mournful strings, like a documentary about Pompei or something, the song itself is a pastoral folkie moment. Cries Of Ages has slow steady pounding beat and spy film arpeggio chording, easily the best song and vocal on this record imho. Pure Doyle!

Saharan Crossing sounds like it might be a desert instrumental. And it is. The Samanas is another eerie and spiritual piece with delicious guitar fills and timpani. At 1:25 the heavy fuzz chords punch in before easing back. Atmospheric or what? Hear My Train A’ Comin’ was first heard on the Jimi Hendrix release Rainbow Bridge, for various reasons my overall favourite Jimi record. After a flying saucer intro, Bramhall cranks up the Univibe and levitates into bluesy skies…

Well friends, here you have 72 minutes of impressionistic space blues with some grittier moments, a singer who is his own man and a studio full of empathetic players. Not for everyone, but manna to his tribe.

Pete Sargeant


Oh and here’s that clip..notice on the note bends, strings are pulled down!

Doyle Bramahll II's new album 'Rich Man' is out now on Concord.

Doyle will be supporting  Eric Clapton’s band at the Royal Albert Hall in May 2017 BUT he also has his own headline show at Under The Bridge on Sunday 28th May 2017.

Full details and ticket links are listed below.

For more information visit his official website here:

The May 2017 UK Dates are as follows:

Doyle Bramhall II
Doyle Bramhall II
Doyle Bramhall II

Monday 22nd May 2017 - (Support To Eric Clapton) Royal Albert Hall, London, United Kingdom

Wednesday 24th May 2017 - (Support To Eric Clapton) Royal Albert Hall, London, United Kingdom

Thursday 25th May 2017 - (Support To Eric Clapton) Royal Albert Hall, London, United Kingdom

Sunday 28th May 2017 - (Headline Show) Under The Bridge, Stamford Bridge, London, United Kingdom