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Doyle Bramhall - Is It News

Is It News

Doyle Bramhall

Yep Roc - 2097

Available from Yep Roc Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

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This is Doyle Bramhall first all original record (some of the songs are co-written with CC Adcock, and or various members of bands he has played in over the years, including Stevie Ray Vaughn, and brother Jimmie Vaughn), but that is close enough. He is a strong writer and all his songs have a strong pronounced beat, as you might suspect from this drummer and former member cohort of the brothers Vaughn in various different bands over the years. He enlists the help of many long time friends to put flesh on this dream of his, including "sort of adopted son", Charles CC Adcock, as co-producer, co writer, and guitar slinger, his son Doyle Bramhall II, on guitar, Denny Freeman and Jimmie Vaughn also on guitars, and all manner of others from his Austin, Texas musical family. He has played with most everyone in the Austin Blues scene, from Marcia Ball to Chris Duarte and all other manner of folks between those poles.

These 12 songs comprise a wonderful survey of the blues as done Texas style by the esteemed veteran of the music scene for over 40 years, starting with the Chessmen who opened for Jimi Hendrix in 1968, and judging from what we have on this disc being a long way from culminating.

As befitting a drummer of his stature, the drums are up front without being in the least bit pushy or too much there. Just listen to the opening notes from the first song, Lost In The Congo, and the echoing sound of the drums, bouncing off the squealing guitar and then the vocals and you know you are in for a treat. Then there is the rolling rhythm of Chateau Strut, which had its start during warm-up for a gig in 1974 with Billy Ethridge on keyboards (he plays on this version too), and Stevie Ray on guitar. This is a very strong disc and the good news is Bramhall is getting his time down between making discs; between the first and second was 12 years, and now only 4 years to this his third disc. Here you have a good dose of versatility and musicianship of this drummer, singer, and songwriter all on display. Don't let this slip by you.

Track List:

  • Lost in the Congo
  • Is it News
  • Chateau Strut
  • Tortured Soul
  • Cryin'
  • I'll Take You Away
  • Big
  • Ooh Wee Baby
  • You Left Me This Mornin'
  • Top Rank Boxing
  • That Day
  • The Moon Is Shining

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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