Doyle Bramhall II


(Provogue/Mascot Label Group)




It is evident that for any releases under his own name, Bramhall has his own sound, arrangements, compositional direction and execution. If you have seen Doyle with Eric Clapton, don’t go thinking you’ll be hearing anything similar to his veteran employer’s current output, Bramhall matures but retains that young gun vibe, especially in the studio.

This is down to the fact that he plays with a range of people eg Wendy Melvoin, Erykah Badu, Sheryl Crow, Tedeschi-Trucks. I even have a live Fabulous Thunderbirds album from way back where Doyle is alongside Jimmie Vaughan! His exposure to such variety gives him a stack of modes and boy does he use them…

Starting cut Love And Pain hits a moody mode from the off, Doyle sounding under pressure as the electric soul spins its web. The ensemble vocal arrangement. That snaky guitar sounds haunted and even glides into reverse delay later in the piece. Curtis Mayfield sure left a mark on this cat..on to the edgy and emphatic Hammer Ring with its nod to sounds of the East and again that unique singing. Everything You Need does have a cameo from Clapton and has a gentler tempo, more winsome. There is air in this music, it’s not wodged up with synths.

London To Tokyo rolls along with damped guitar chords lending a twist of the Caribbean and some tempo-changing (see our chat) whilst Searching For Love is a rather desolate item, vocal upfront and a guest vocal from Norah Jones, no less. Utterly beautiful. Live Forever brings in Texas band Greyhounds who hit a Georgia Satellites groove giving the collection a very different interlude. Catchy tune, this.

On to Break Apart To Mend being a stark ballad taken steadily; She’ll Come Around is a real grower and would suit Boz Scaggs, it’s that good. The Night is very different, night music indeed. Bramhall makes his case in his best pleading voice as the tempo syncopates and settles again. A heartbreaker, this one. Parvannah has its own inspiration and mines a mystic mood. Consciousness is a fresh folk-rock composition that could have come from Jackson Browne.

Closer Going Going Gone entrances the listener with its majestic chordal progression and the TTB joining Doyle for the semi-gospel vibe. More richness and variety on this than 90% of releases but the mix never swamps the vocals. Lad knows what he’s doing…

Pete Sargeant


(Thanks to the Mascot Label Group UK)

You can listen to 'Searching For Love' featuring Norah Jones in this article.

You can read all of our Doyle Bramhall II articles here:

Doyle Bramhall's new album 'Shades' is out now on Provogue/Mascot Label Group.

You can purchase the album in various formats including CD, Download and Vinyl here:

For more information visit his official website here: