Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Casey James Extra Credit - Doyle Bramhall, II

I have researched and written about three artists/songs that Casey James recently recommended. I was looking forward to this being a regular project, as I know I've been too limited in my musical exposure of late (not like my childhood when I would listen to a wider array of music). But without any recent homework assignments via Twitter, my knowledge base was not expanding.

So I have taken it upon myself to do a little extra credit homework. The topic for today is Doyle Bramhall, II. Anyone who is at all a fan of Casey James knows that name and knows just how often Casey has mentioned Bramhall as a major influence. What you might not know is that one of the first concerts Casey ever saw was Bramhall's group, the Arc Angels.

I've recently interviewed Casey James' mother, Debra "Bybee" James, and she told me that Casey was about ten when she took him and his brother BC to see the Arc Angels. Doing some quick math, I figured that was somewhere around 1992. So as part of the "learn about the music that has influenced Casey James project," I've located a few old videos from their concerts in 1992.  In a subsequent post, I'll give you some history and discography for Bramhall, but today, here's a taste of some of his circa '92 performances.

The first video is of a song called Dimples. I've had it playing in the background as I type this and while I'm still not a blues convert, I can't deny it's pretty good.



The next one is Too Many Ways to Fall. I'll admit it, this is much more my speed. Rocking, hard-driving, powerful, evocative vocals, some serious shredding all around. Maybe if I had seen this when I was ten, I'd be playing the guitar now, too. In other words, I'm starting to see what Casey James has been talking about and wonder what I've been missing all along.



Here's a pre-Idol video of Casey covering another of the Arc Angels' songs, The Shape I'm In. To give you an idea just how good Doyle Bramhall, II is, I've heard his version and this is not one of those situations where I would say, Oh, Casey does it better (as, in all due respect, with Ian Moore). The original is amazing as well and I'll provide a link to that in the next installment. In the meantime, enjoy Casey in his bluesy element having a great time tearing up the guitar. An added bonus to some of Casey's twitter fans, there are two CLOLs in this video.

11 comments:

  1. Simply brilliant, Shari! You go straight to the head of the class!

    That vid of Casey coverin The Shape I'm In is the very first evudence of his amazing talent that I saw outside of Fidol (not a typo,a contraction) and I was hooked immediately!

    Did you know that The Arc Angels are the band that formed after Stevie Ray Vaughn's untimely death? I believe they were former members of his band.

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  2. Awesome! I bet Debra had no idea how she was molding the boys & teaching them the art, even way back then. I'm with you, I rarely do much searching for new or mildly successful artist/groups. I kinda just listen to what's spoonfed to us by radio. Makes me want to search iTunes now for new/old stuff. Thanks Shari!

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  3. Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon were with SRV. Charlie Sexton was in Bob Dylan's band. DBII's father co-wrote with SRV.
    This is really cool, isn't it? I love to follow trails of music on youtube -- find a song, see who all has done it, see what else they've done.
    I'll bet you've never heard Duane Allman sing Dimples, but it might be out there somewhere. Duane wasn't much of a singer so it's more interesting than great.
    Too Many Ways to Fall is really killer. I bet not too many bands cover that, because it's really BEEN DONE! la peche

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  4. Excellent extra credit work Shari!! To learn even more about DBII, people should watch Before The Music Dies. It's a very interesting documentary that has a lot of background on DBII. It also talks about why the talented artists are having such a hard time these days in the music biz, along the same lines as Momma James thoughts in the Hans Ebert interview.

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  5. THANK YOU for the "extra credit".... LUV it... Never had this much fun doing extra credit before....

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  6. Thanks for pushing us, Shari! Have to admit, of the three videos I enjoyed Casey's the most. I loved the "dueling" guitars between brothers!

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  7. Love the two brothers up there with the guitars. Can't wait to see Billy up there with Casey when he comes around on his own tours.

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  8. Wow, my husband bought that Arc Angel cd years ago ( I recognized the cd cover from your post) . I didn't know that Doyle Bramhall, II was from that band. Interesting, all the similarities I can find with Casey :)

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  9. Very interesting listening to all 3 of the extra credit songs. I liked the first one alot, the second one was ok, and the one with Casey I REALLY enjoyed. I had seen the vid for the one with Casey a while back and loved it then...it's a very cool sounding bluesy tune and Casey does it just right!

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  10. I discovered the Arc Angels Video with Casey on You Tube soon after Casey appeared on Idol. And love the Dimples video. Thanks! Will do more research on Doyle Bramhill II. And thanks for writing this series on Casey James. Greatly appreciated.

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  11. THis is good stuff. Thanks, Casey, for introducing me to it.

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