Doyle Bramhall II (born 24 December 1968) 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, Sr., played drums for legendary bluesmen Lightnin' Hopkins and Freddie King and was a lifelong collaborator with childhood friends Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Vaughan.
Doyle is known as one of the few guitarists who plays with his instrument strung upside-down. He plays left-handed, but the instrument is strung for a right-handed player. This unusual arrangement of the strings gives his playing a unique sound, because he bends the strings by pulling them downwards, rather than by pushing them the customarily upwards. Other guitarists who use this technique of bending include Albert King as well as the late Canadian blues guitarist Jeff Healey, who played with his instrument flat on his lap due to blindness.
When Doyle was 18 he toured with Jimmie Vaughan's band The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Two years later he co-founded the blues rock band Arc Angels with fellow Austinite Charlie Sexton and members from Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section - Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon. Following the 1999 release of Jellycream, Doyle's second album and solo debut for RCA, he received phone calls from both Roger Waters and Eric Clapton. Doyle joined Waters on his In the Flesh tour, playing lead guitar and providing background and lead vocals. His performances were recorded on the subsequent live album and DVD, "In the Flesh - Live". Doyle also played guitar on Clapton's Riding With The King, a collaboration with famous bluesman B.B. King. The album included cover versions of 2 songs from "Jellycream." Doyle has continued to tour and record with Clapton as a guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and, more recently, co-producer.
In 2006, Doyle (with his band Smokestack) released a live DVD entitled "Live at the Great Wall of China." Two audio tracks from the DVD were released on iTunes under the name of "Doyle Bramhall II (Live At the Great Wall of China) - Single."
In addition to collaborating with artists such as T-Bone Burnett, Elton John, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Gary Clark, Jr., Gregg Allman, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Billy Preston, Erykah Badu, Questlove and Meshell Ndegeocello, Bramhall has produced several records, including Sheryl Crow's 100 Miles from Memphis in 2011. He also joined her on a tour for this album
Doyle recently completed co-production on Eric Clapton's 2013 release Old Sock, and played guitars on his 2014 release The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale. He joined Clapton on his "50th Anniversary Tour" as an opening act and live backing musician. He appeared at Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, and was recorded for the subsequent live album and DVD. Doyle also played lead guitars on Elton John's 2013 album The Diving Board. He is also currently working on his much-anticipated 4th solo album and touring with Experience Hendrix, a Jimi Hendrix tribute. He is also touring with his solo band in the fall of 2014.
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