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Arc Angels

The Arc Angels

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Album Review

There are one-hit wonders throughout the history of music, but very few one-album wonders like the Arc Angels. After the death of blues-rock guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan, fellow singing guitarists, Texans, and Vaughan devotees Doyle Bramhall II and Charlie Sexton formed the quartet with Vaughan's rhythm section of bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton. Their 1992 debut release would also be their swan song, but the self-titled album would prove to be one of the best rock/pop/blues recordings of the decade as well. The opening "Living in a Dream" is the only tune Sexton and Bramhall II co-composed, and is perhaps the closest that the Arc Angels come to re-creating Vaughan's signature sound. "Paradise Cafe" is one of a handful of tracks Sexton co-wrote with pop composer Tonio K., but he and Bramhall II engage in some ZZ Top-like call-and-response vocals, and Bramhall II's Vaughan dedication, "Sent by Angels," features some of the album's most impassioned singing. Funky tunes like "Sweet Nadine," "Good Time," and "Carry Me On" lighten the mood, and Shannon, Layton, and guest keyboardist Ian McLagan play brilliantly throughout in setting up the singing guitarists. The spirit of Vaughan permeates the recording, from the production of Little Steven to the liner notes ("Dedicated to our friend, Stevie Ray Vaughan. We miss you"), yet never sounds forced, purposeful, or contrived. Alas, the final two songs — the rocking "Shape I'm In" and epic "Too Many Ways to Fall" — sport titles that point toward the Arc Angels being a Vaughan-like comet rather than a future veteran group. Sexton's solo recording career had started as a teenager; Bramhall II and his father Doyle Bramhall were friends of Vaughan's (the elder Bramhall even composing and co-composing tunes with the guitar giant). But the two frontmen who complemented each other so well nonetheless couldn't blend their egos as easily. Arc Angels stands as testimony that a band needn't have a long career to have a lasting legacy.

Customer Reviews

Top 5 EVER!

This is one of the best CD's ever. Every song has heart, and soul. With the music buss.. putting out such crap as they do today this is pure rock and blues. All the new artist could take something from a CD like this one. WOW! Production is second to none you can understand all the lyrics unlike todays music and they mean something. SRV would have been proud. And im still glad im a fan. DRB OUT!

Stands up years later

Not sure how I could have missed such a strong album for so long. 15 years later it stands up like it was cut yesterday. Could easily show up at the Crossroads festival or sitting in with the Stones. Tight, lean, clean, with great production values. Will sit at the top of my playlist for a long time to come. Makes a lot of current rock records sound lame by comparison.

one of the top 20 records ever made!

this is one of say ten or twenty recordings that i couldnt live without. it feels like family.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Texas

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed shortly after the death of Texas guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Arc Angels may have been too good a story to be true. The quartet paired Vaughan's outstanding rhythm section of bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton with lead-singing guitarists and Texas Vaughan protégés Charlie Sexton and Doyle Bramhall II. Taking their name from the initials of the Austin Rehearsal Complex where they originally started jamming, the group released its self-titled debut album in 1992, with the...
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Arc Angels, The Arc Angels
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Customer Ratings

Contemporaries

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