An Open Letter to Doyle Bramhall II

September 8, 2011 | By | 11 Replies More

DBii_alone_1And Sorta Audley Freed Too

Doyle, WTF man? I and the many other fans of your tuneage don’t get it.

We do get that you’re successful and maybe even happy as a sideman to Clapton, your new beau Sheryl Crow, Roger Waters and whoever else I’m forgetting. You co-write, produce, play, and sing – and sometimes what you’re doing makes mouths drop…if any guit-slingers are listening.

But it’s not this:

Or this:

Dude: LISTEN TO YOURSELF! That sh*t is great! It IS what we, your fading fans, want. Even need. For sure the wasteland that passes for the current music scene needs it, whether the Nickelbacked masses are aware of it or not.

Will it make you rich? Doubt it, but I’m betting you don’t have to worry about that now.

Will it make you a star? Betting you don’t care about that either.

Will it make you a better musician? More appreciated for who you really are? A legend in Guitardom? You bet your blues genes it will. And if you’re wondering if that’s important, it is. Check it:

Arc Angels, Double Trouble, Smokestack, Gary Clarke Jr., solo, whatever it takes, go get ’em and put out some damn music dude! While you’re at it, include Audley Freed – because he’s another killer 6-string-slinger who needs this letter sent to him. Check it:

He says he likes to take “a little bit of Malcolm Young and Pete Townshend wherever he goes.” Can’t you just hear would happen?

(Why am I posting an Audley clinic vid? Because that’s all there is on YouTube, other than decades-old stuff. C’mon Audley – record some sh*t man! Please!)

So Doyle: Take that ’64 Strat (and/or maybe that Les Paul Junior) and your ’67 Super Bass, crank it and start the digital recorder. No pedals.

Okay, maybe a couple.

Do it down in Texas. Or maybe somewhere else, but alone. Yep, alone, as in no girlfriend: We all know the ladies will distract, even if they’re musicians.

If Chris Layton or J.J. Johnson ain’t around, find another drummer with a snare crack you can feel in your chest – a guy who don’t need no stinkin’ PA. And start riffing.

Riffs! Play ’em because you can, and because we, the riff-starved masses, frickin’ need to hear them or…something bad will happen. Something desperate, maybe. Not sure what.

In conclusion, I give you the below tune – do you remember it? Did you read Charlie Sexton’s quote about it at the time, in some guitar mag (I can’t find it now), something like he was walking into the studio, heard you playing it and was like, “What the F is that?”

This stuff gives us wood. It makes us cry. It makes us want to pick up a guitar, play it loud, and grin like we’re hammered and about to pee on the neighbors’ prized whatever plants.

For cryin’ out loud, Doyle, the tunes I’m highlighting here are 10 years old! TEN.

Do whatever it takes to get some more stellar tuneage out – now, before you become disinterested in rock ‘n’ roll…like Robert Plant..and Clapton (we all love the guy, but you’re not that old yet, brother!). If you don’t, our blood, sweat and tears will be on your hands – that goes for you too, Audley!

DB II and Audley fans, vent below!


Category: Audley Freed, Doyle Bramhall II

Comments (11)

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  1. Dkoltai says:

    Yes, you are so right about this!!!

  2. garbeaj says:

    Doyle II has been playing great guitar for a long time and I personally love everything he has done. He recently completed a few tours and a big DVD set with The Arc Angels and he is doing his usual sideman stuff. He is really growing as a songwriter, and I think that is great.

    The comment in the post about Doyle II being SHeryl Crow’s new “beau” is very inaccurate. He has played on her album and he sits in with her live quite a bit, but they are just friends. He has been married to singer-songwriter Susannah Melvoin for many years now…she is the identical twin sister to Wendy Melvoin of Prince and The Revolution. She was a part of The Family which was another Prince-offshoot in the 80s…their claim to fame is that Prince gave them “Nothing Compares 2 U” and they featured the first recording of it on their album long before Sinead O’Connor made it a mega-hit…

  3. garbeaj says:

    By the way, that is SUsannah singing backing vocals on the Austin City Limits “Snakecharmer” clip…

  4. admin says:

    garbeaj — Re: beau, use Google, man! He and Sheryl are an item….

  5. Emilia Mota says:

    No one could say that better than you!!! You sooooo immensely right!!! Just love and agree to all of that you wrote!!! DBII is that kind of musician which won’t be replaced by any other… He has an amazing voice, plays powerful guitar tunes and writes emotionally explosive lyrics… He is one of the “great ones”. Perfect “open letter”, you rule!!! Respect…

    • Emilia Mota says:

      Sorry, that is…
      “DBII is that kind of musician THAT won’t be replaced by any other…”
      Bad English as always… Sorry again, that’s not my main language… :/

  6. james says:

    I think Doyle got sick of starving to death I agree his Clapton gig pays the bills and so forth but I cant listen to anything Clapton’s put out in years! I had hoped Doyle would have pushed Clapton but the albums they have done together is elevator music.
    I do believe as I mentioned earlier the guy wanted a steady paycheck and I can understand that….

  7. Lee Malone says:

    Doyle will eventually come out with another CD. It’s just a matter of time. But just like everything he does, he will do it at his leasure and his way.

  8. Pabs says:

    New DB album will be finished after Eric’s 2013 tour, and released later this year…. Whooooo !!

  9. Michael says:

    No doubt Doyle is the most inspirational guitarist I’ve seen in 20 years. Those others are just a classic bore. I hope that stuff doesn’t go to his head. I just can’t get past the upside down guitar rig.

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