RIP Doyle Bramhall, Austin Blues Legend

Thumbnail image for Doyle july 25.jpg
Courtesy of Miller Outdoor Theatre Advisory Board
Doyle Bramhall
Doyle Bramhall, one of the legendary Austin drummers and a noted songwriter, passed this morning. He was 62.

Unconfirmed reports on Facebook noted that Bramhall had been under the weather for some time. He had recently had pneumonia. A longtime fixture on the Austin scene, Bramhall was living in Alpine.

Bramhall played Miller Outdoor Theatre July 22.

Originally from Irving, Bramhall was friends with Jimmie Vaughan in high school. They played in The Chessmen before both migrated to Austin., where Bramhall formed The Nightcrawlers with Marc Benno. Young Stevie Ray Vaughan was the second guitarist in the band.

A solid drummer and a gravelly singer, Bramhall wrote several songs that were cut by Stevie Ray Vaughan including "Life By The Drop" and "Dirty Pool." Bramhall was a huge influence on Vaughan's vocal style. Bramhall released his first solo album, Bird Nest On the Ground, a stirring mix of originals and jaw-dropping covers such as Elvis Presley's "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame," in 1994.

Bramhall was also a key cog in the blues renaissance that took place in Austin in the mid-70s. That core group included Tommy Shannon, Angela Strehli, Lou Ann Barton, the Vaughan brothers, and Benno, coalesced around Antone's, one of the first music venues to open on Sixth Street in Austin and Austin's most important blues venue at the time.

Bramhall played drums on the only Vaughan Brothers album, Family Style.

Bramhall is survived by his wife Barbara Logan, his daughter, Georgia, and his son, guitarist Doyle Bramhall II (Arc Angels, Eric Clapton).


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25 comments
Nuri Nuri
Nuri Nuri

I will miss Doyle immensely in every way as he was a gentle, generous, and loving man. I have known him for so many years ever since I saw him play the last week the Bon Ton room was open (Robin Sylar and David Murray played with him). He would then ask for me in person to introduce him at clubs like Rockefeller’s and others and I would often get notice from his lovely wife Barbara that they were coming to town. When he had a show in Houston at the Mucky Duck with Mike Judge a few years back, I met him in his hotel room were he took out a bag of stuff that belonged to Stevie Ray Vaughan that he wanted me to see – including some of Stevie’s shirts as he knew it would mean a lot to me. We then went to dinner with our wives, Derek O'Brien, and Steve, his road manager. It was a memorable evening.Doyle was the (Texas) shuffle master and one amazing drummer, song writer, and musician. He took his time releasing CD's and was true to his fans in every way, and whenever I went to his shows, I was energized for a few days to come. He was very warm and generous with his audience and friends and never turned anyone away who wanted an autograph, a photo, or just a simple chat. I will miss his soft and gentle voice, his kindness, and his company. I will really miss you Doyle . RIP

Frahinjo
Frahinjo

Your music will stay in are forever.And we will never forget! Drummer crosstown renegades

Randy Christian147
Randy Christian147

I was lucky enough to see Doyle live at least thirty times over the years. Almost every time he played in Austin. He never disappointed. He was usually always hangin' out before each show . He would always talk to me as if I was an old friend . He was a kind and humble soul and always treated everyone with respect weather he really knew you or not. In my opinion Doyle never got nearly the credit he deserved. There is now another gaping hole in the blues forever. Rest well Big D !

Feldman
Feldman

I loved his music. Rest in peace Doyle. 

Guest
Guest

*Jimmie (Vaughan)

Alan Paul
Alan Paul

So sad to hear the news. I interviewed Doyle several times for various Guitar World projects and always found him to be a pleasure to chat with, a deeply thoughtful and kind man.

RIP, Doyle Bramhall: An appreciation: http://alanpaul.net/?p=3931

wms
wms

We received this comment overnight via email from Yep Roc Records (Bramhall's label) owner Glenn Dicker: We are so very sorry to hear of the passing of Doyle Bramhall. Doyle was a wonderful human being with a heart of gold. His soul and music touched so many throughout the years and we feel very fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to work with Doyle and call him our friend. He will be greatly missed. Our hearts are with his family.

wms
wms

Just want tto add: HP didn't mean to imply that the brief list we gave of core people in the Austin blues scene was definitive: we'd have to also list Mike Buck, Keith Ferguson, Kim Wilson, Casoer Rawls, the Leroi Brothers, a whole other damn bunch of people. No slight intended.

Ssjansen
Ssjansen

so talented and gifted. to his family, so sorry for the loss of a husband, brother, father and friend. be will be missed greatly by the rest of us as well. safe travels, Doyle. 

Kathy
Kathy

I saw him last at the Mucky Duck in Houston with Joy Hill *, Good time...great music.  Doyle was a class act. My condolences to Barbara, and family.

Zonderkennedy
Zonderkennedy

Doyle was a good friend to me.  In 1993, after the death of my good friend and musical partner John Campbell, Doyle invited me to join his band and go on tour with him.. We toured the world, it was the greatest experience.  Never a harsh word, never a disagreement..simply a great time.  My heart goes out to Barbara and the rest of the Bramhall clan and friends.  I will miss that man.  He was like a brother to me.

Betinaforemanrealtor
Betinaforemanrealtor

Dont forget Doyle's brother Dale. He is mourning too. They are a wonderfully musically tallented family.

Anne
Anne

And it would be super if you could correct the spelling of Angela Strehli's name. Thank you.

Sunnyp
Sunnyp

I had a very pleasant experience w Doyle in NOLA when I worked at Tower records in the 1990's.I helped him retrieve some shopping items that were not returned to him when he checked them inwhile shopping.He was so gratefull he gave me a video & several tee shirts & tix to HOB + liketime guest list priveleges.I saw him play drums & sing at the House of Blues. A real gentleman, great musican, & class act .......RIP Doyle

Dan Lawson
Dan Lawson

He will be sorely missed!! A great song writer!!

JULY
JULY

RIP you dear soul...you will be missed. We love you. Peace to the family and friends always. I am still speechless.

wms
wms

Thanks, Pat.

Pat Boyack
Pat Boyack

Doyle also leaves behind a daughter, Georgia.

wms
wms

hey, man, thanks for posting this. love your show, what you try to do. keep the old school alive.

Kylefurban
Kylefurban

He has another son. I met him at the old antones. Both the boys are good men. R.i.p.

Marksaurs3
Marksaurs3

Warm thoughts and prayers to the family at this very sad time.

Jeff
Jeff

Fixed. Thank you!

Nuri
Nuri

Thank you very much for the kind comments - I try hard and hope the show comes across well. I hope to do a (long) tribute show for Doyle within a week or two.

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