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RIP Doyle Bramhall, Austin Blues Legend

Doyle Bramhall
Doyle Bramhall
Courtesy of Miller Outdoor Theatre Advisory Board

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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