Doyle Bramhall II was born in Dallas, Texas on 24 December 1968 but was raised in Austin. His father, drummer Doyle Bramhall, is a Texas music legend known for his work with Lightning Hopkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Vaughan in the 1960s and 1970s.
As a teenager, Doyle Bramhall II toured with Jimmy Vaughan’s band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, as second guitarist. He then co-founded the Arc Angels at the Austin Rehearsal Center (ARC), whose initials gave the band their name along with Charlie Sexton and Chris Layton. The band that was only ever meant to have fun jamming when they were not on tour with their friend, colleague and musical inspiration, Stevie Ray Vaughan. But, after Vaughan’s tragic and untimely death, the band became a musical outlet and inspiration in a time of crisis. The band’s 1992 debut album release, Arc Angels, on Geffen Records met with much critical acclaim and managed to break ont to the Billboard Top 200 chart. The band broke up in 1994 but reunited in early 2009.
Doyle’s 1999 solo recording, Jellycream, brought him to the attention of both Roger Waters and Eric Clapton. In 2000, he toured with Water’s band (along with Andy Fairweather-Low and Katie Kissoon). Eric Clapton and B.B. King recorded two of his compositions (“Marry You” and “I Wanna Be”) on their CD, Riding With The King. They invited Doyle to join them in the studio. Impressed with his work, Eric Clapton then asked Doyle to join him in the studio for the recording of Reptile (2001). Along with Doyle’s wife, Susannah Melvoin, they wrote “Superman Inside” for the CD.
In 2001, Doyle and his band, Smokestack, opened for Eric Clapton’s World Tour in Europe and America. His most recent solo album was 2001’s Welcome.
Doyle Bramhall II has been part of Eric Clapton’s studio band from 2000 and became the second guitarist in his touring band in 2004. Doyle was out on the road with Eric for the entire 2006 / 2007 World Tour, the Summer 2008 Tour and the 2009 Japan, New Zealand and Australia tour dates. These were his final dates with Eric Clapton as he returned to work with The Arc Angels. The Arc Angels were tour support for Eric Clapton’s 2009 Spring dates at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Doyle has also toured with and produced Sheryl Crow’s latest album, 100 Miles From Memphis (2010).
Doyle Bramhall II can be seen in Eric Clapton’s most recent solo DVDs, Crossroads Guitar Festival (2004), Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007 and Sessions for Robert J. He can be heard on the following Eric Clapton CDs: Riding With The King (with B.B. King), Reptile, Me and Mr. Johnson, Sessions for Robert J and Back Home. Doyle also produced and played EC’s latest studio album, Clapton.