Doyle Bramhall II performs at Capitol Theatre Jan. 20

Doyle Bramhall II performs at Capitol Theatre Jan. 20

Doyle Bramhall II performs at Capitol Theatre Jan. 20

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Doyle Bramhall II makes his Clearwater debut at Capitol Theatre on Jan. 20.

CLEARWATER – Doyle Bramhall II, Friday, Jan. 20, 8 p.m., at Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater.

Bramhall II will make his way to the historic Capitol Theatre for his Clearwater debut. One of the most distinctive vocalists, guitarists, composers and producers, Bramhall has collaborated with artists as far-ranging as Tedeschi Trucks Band and Rogers Waters to Eric Clapton.

Tickets start at $25. Call 727-791-7400 or visit www.a­tthec­­m.

As the son of the late Texas music legend Doyle Bramhall, he was raised in a home filled with the blues and rock ’n’ roll styles indigenous to Texas. The elder Bramhall played drums and was also an accomplished songwriter and vocalist, not to mention a lifelong collaborator with childhood friends Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan, who composed such SRV signature tunes as “Change It” and “Life by the Drop.”

According to a biographical sketch provided by Monterey International, the younger Bramhall – a rare and distinctive guitarist who plays left-handed, but with his instrument strung for a right-hander and flipped backwards – had his own connections with the Vaughan brothers: Early in his career he was befriended and supported by Stevie. When he was 18, Bramhall was recruited by Jimmie to play with the Fabulous Thunderbirds. After Stevie’s tragic death in 1990, Bramhall II and Charlie Sexton formed the Arc Angels with drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon of Stevie Ray’s fabled rhythm section.

The Arc Angels’ self-titled debut album yielded such widely popular songs as “Living in a Dream” and “Sent by Angels” before disbanding. Introducing himself as a solo artist in 1996 with Doyle Bramhall II, he followed with a pair of critically acclaimed albums, beginning with 1999’s “Jellycream” and 2001’s “Welcome.” It was then that Bramhall’s unparalleled guitar mastery won the attention not only of Clapton but Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, who showcased him on his 1999, 2000 and 2002 In the Flesh concert tours and companion CD and DVD.

Clapton then featured Bramhall songs and guitar as part of his Grammy-winning “Riding with the King” album with B.B. King. He then recruited him full-time, and they toured together worldwide. Clapton’s ensuing 2004 albums “Me and Mr. Johnson” and “Sessions for Robert J” both showcased Clapton-Bramhall guitar duets recorded in the same Dallas room where Robert Johnson recorded his classic blues songs in 1937.

Bramhall’s own songwriting talent was highlighted in Clapton’s “Reptile” (2001), “Back Home” (2005) and “The Road to Escondido” (2006) albums, and he later co-produced “Clapton” (2010) and “Old Sock” (2013).

In 2013, he again joined Clapton on his 50th anniversary tour and played on his 2014 album “The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale.”

In addition to his work with Clapton, Bramhall has enjoyed high profile collaborations with a broad range of other major artists, including T-Bone Burnett, Elton John, Gary Clark, Jr., Gregg Allman, Dr. John, Robert Randolph, Allen Toussaint, Billy Preston, Erykah Badu, Questlove, Meshell Ndegeocello and Sheryl Crow, whom he produced and composed songs for on “100 Miles from Memphis” (2011). In 2015 he teamed with ace guitarist Derek Trucks in the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Bramhall’s songs and guitar playing have graced each of the three, critically acclaimed Tedeschi Trucks Band albums issued to date.

With all this outside activity, Bramhall hadn’t made a solo album since “Welcome.” While honing his skills as a producer, he stockpiled ideas and songs he’d written for himself as well. These were selected and sequenced for his fourth solo album, “Rich Man,” released September 2016. The songs document an intensive spiritual and musical journey that took him to the other side of the world in search of new sounds, and an inner peace sought following the death of his father in 2011.

“I’d been writing pretty consistently for other artists and projects since my last album and had stored a lot of songs, sort of documenting my life story,” said Bramhall in a press release from Concord Music Group. “I’d been busy touring and producing for other artists, and so I took a hiatus from recording and performing as a solo artist. All those experiences actually helped me develop new skills and I learned how to facilitate my own sound. I feel like the stars finally aligned to allow me to be completely myself as an artist for the first time – singer, guitar player, songwriter, producer – and take things that were happening in my life and put them into music.”

Since 2008, and in the year following his father’s death, Bramhall had extensively explored India and Northern Africa. The influence of these journeys manifest in the new album’s inclusion of the North Indian classical bowed string instrument sarangi – played by virtuoso Ustad Surjeet Singh – and the bowl-shaped Arabic oud lute, played by Bramhall’s own oud teacher Yuval Ron, the renowned Israeli composer-player-arranger.

Also appearing on “Rich Man” is Norah Jones, with whom Bramhall had been performing every six months or so in a concert series. The duet “New Faith” was emblematic of the entire album in its hope that people can look beyond all that divides them and find a new way of thinking that enables peaceful progress through mutual respect and understanding.

“Rich Man” is a watershed achievement for Bramhall, both in terms of the many music styles in the tracks – which begin and end with his fundamental American blues influences, and in between, follow his global music explorations and arrangements – and the inner examinations resulting in the spiritual growth expressed in the lyrics.

“I read a quote from Charles Mingus,” Bramhall said upon the completion of “Rich Man.” “He felt that he was not just playing a style of music so much as expressing the sounds of his life and experiences through the medium of music. I very much relate to that.”

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