Doyle Bramhall II: "My Time with Eric Clapton Was My Workshop"

(Image credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Next week, guitar legend Eric Clapton will kick off a run of three high-profile shows at London's Royal Albert Hall.

The shows, which are scheduled for May 22, 24 and 25, will mark Clapton's first live appearances since March 20, when he finished a two-night stand at New York City's Madison Square Garden.

Although Clapton was scheduled to perform twice at the Forum in LA later in March, he was forced to reschedule those shows due to severe bronchitis. The makeup gigs will take place September 15 and 16 at the Forum.

Opening for Slowhand at the Albert Hall will be Clapton's longtime friend and occasional collaborator, Doyle Bramhall II.

Bramhall, who is touring behind his latest album, 2016's critically acclaimed Rich Man, has an impressive resume. He toured with with Jimmie Vaughan's band, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, in the late Eighties (In fact, I saw Vaughan, Kim Wilson and Bramhall II share the stage in Wallkill, New York, in July 1989).

Two years later, he co-founded the Arc Angels with Charlie Sexton, Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon (both of whom were part of Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughan's band).

In 1999, he received phone calls from both Roger Waters and Clapton. Bramhall joined Waters on his In the Flesh tour, playing lead guitar and providing background and lead vocals, often replacing David Gilmour on the Pink Floyd tunes. Bramhall also played guitar on Clapton's Riding with the King, a collaboration with B.B. King. Clapton and Bramhall II have been connected—on and off—ever since; Bramhall II even appears on Clapton's latest live album, Live in San Diego, which was released in 2016 but recorded in 2007.

In the exclusive clip below, Bramhall II discusses his unique relationship with Clapton, describing how they met and more. Be sure to check it out.

For more about Rich Man, head here. For information about next week's Clapton shows, head here.For more information about Bramhall II and his current tour, visit

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.