NOVEMBER 12, 2011 – Drummer/singer/songwriter DOYLE BRAMHALL (b. February 17, 1949 in Dallas, Texas) died of heart failure in his sleep at his home in Alpine, Texas at age 62. It was reported that Bramhall had been suffering from pneumonia in the days immediately preceding his death.With deep roots in the Austin, Texas music scene, Bramhall’s career spanned more than 40 years during which he provided the beat and the lyrics for a modern sort of rocking blues.
Outside of Texas he was probably best known for his work with Stevie Ray Vaughan, who recorded numerous songs written and co-written by Bramhall. In Texas he was a draw on his own, a band leader with a gritty and soulful blues voice that greatly influenced the way Vaughan sang.Bramhall 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 US 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 Ray on bass.
Doyle next formed the Nightcrawlers with Marc Benno, and 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.”Bramhall would write or co-write several other songs for the younger Vaughan, such as “Life by the Drop” from SRV’s “The Sky Is Crying” album, 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 with pop singer Jennifer Warnes in the ‘90s. The striking “Bird Nest on the Ground” album appeared in 1994 from Discovery, followed by” Fitchburg Street” in 2003 and” Is It News” in 2007, both from Yep Roc.