Doyle Bramhall, Sr., 62


SAD NEWS this afternoon.

Sad enough that I waited for hours to confirm.

I interviewed Bramhall on the eve of the Grammys about his nomination for the album, “Is It News” a beautiful cacophony, a difficult-to-categorize soul poem. The centerpiece was “Tortured Soul” — confessional, rasped out of the middle of somewhere; the drummer spilling beats out as if he was stumbling around in the deepest of darks. Each cut was as much visual as it was a sonic impression.

Bramhall was kind, introspective and open as we talked for a few hours in the San Fernando Valley’s Sportsmen’s Lodge shop fueled by hot beverages, his Grammy evening hours away. He didn’t win. That didn’t dampen his spirits. And we spoke again. He wanted to work on a book about his time in Austin, his work with Stevie Ray Vaughn. It seemed like he had bought himself a new life. And maybe be did for the short years after that date.

My piece’s kicker:

Back in his worst days, he’d wake up in the morning and feel nothing.

“So, I think for me it’s being able after 40 years to still be doing something that I feel that passionate about and still love as much as I do music. And this time to actually feel it. That to me is success.”

My Los Angeles Times piece here.

The blues traveler, travels.

Obit here

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