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.