Tamworth Rage Page
Helen is no longer updating this website. 

 

Simon Bruce

 

www.simonbruce.com 
(Have you bought the single "The Holy Grail" yet?
It contains the previously unreleased track Ingenue.)

2007
Hi there all my friends!!,
Great news! My client and Tommy's protege, Simon Bruce, has made the Top 50 of all
three categories in the FAMECAST competiton! Now let's get him to Top 25. If you could
take a moment to go back and vote for him in each category it would be great and we'd all
really appreciate it. We want to take him all the way!!!!
Thanks!!
Xx
Gina

Support young Australian musicians!!!!!
Link to ROCK category vote for Simon:
http://www.famecast.com/contest/stage.php?stage_id=22&round_id=98&artist_id=4960
Link to POP category vote for Simon:
http://www.famecast.com/contest/stage.php?stage_id=23&round_id=99&artist_id=4960
Link to the SINGER-SONGWRITER category vote for Simon:
http://www.famecast.com/contest/stage.php?stage_id=25&round_id=101&artist_id=4960 

On behalf of Tommy Simon, and myself, thank you so much for the support. We'll be
letting you know how he goes.
Warmest regards,
GINA

Simon is managing to squeeze in a quick visit between touring
with the likes of Joe Camilleri and Richard Clapton. Simon's latest single,
The Holy Grail is tearing up the airwaves, charts and TV screens.
The Taverna 175 First Avenue, Five Dock 2049 From 9pm.

 

Restless Thoughts, the debut album from Simon Bruce is getting plenty of critical acclaim, with Brian Wise in Rhythms magazine (July 2005) describing it as the "..best 'country' release since Kasey Chambers.." Click on www.simonbruce.com/reviews.html  for more!
 

It's finally here from Australia on import.  Simon Bruce's long awaited album RESTLESS
THOUGHTS.  Those of you who saw Simon on the road with Tommy in the midwest,
southwest, and west coast have been waiting for this album quite a while and the plane
finally landed.  Order it now on CERTIFIEDGUITARPLAYER.com.

This album has all the songs you've been waiting for from the shows.  It's truly brilliant.  And
if you haven't heard Simon, you must hear this brilliant 20 year old singer/songwriter from
Australia.
http://www.certifiedguitarplayer.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=43
from Gina Tommy Emmanuel's manager

Fans, Friends and Supporters
Simon's single
"Too Late Now "
from his debut album with EMI/Essence
Restless Thoughts
is released to radio and video this week
with the album available in June
Checkout all the news, and listen to Too Late Now, at
www.simonbruce.com  

Look Out for Simon's Debut Single "Too Late Now"
April 2005
www.simonbruce.com

Simon Bruce
Simon returned to Australia after touring the length and breadth of America with Tommy Emmanuel, and went straight into back to back tours opening for BOND and Dido in Australia and New Zealand. If the Guestbook on his website is anything to go by, he's making a big impact on a diverse range of audiences. With his album due for release through Essence/EMI early next year, 2005 is shaping up to be even bigger than ever for Simon!

***NEW ALBUM***
The long awaited debut album is finished. Produced and Mixed by Nash Chambers the album will be mastered by the legendary Bob Ludwig for an early 2005 release.
*** NEW US TOUR DATES***
After a successful tour on the US East Coast in July, Simon has been invited to extend his touring with Tommy Emmanuel in the US kicking off this week with another 20 shows starting in Kansas, moving onto Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Maryland and finishing on the 22nd Oct in Kentucky. Check gig listing for further details. This is most likely Simon's last tour in the US for 2004 before he heads back home to prepare for the Australian release of his album, but it won't be too much longer til he's back in the US in 2005.
 

SIMON BRUCE - WISE BEYOND HIS YEARS
By Phil Sweetland - Country music and radio contributor, The New York Times

NASHVILLE, May 2004 - When Australian singer and songwriter Simon Bruce turned 19 in May 2004, he had already covered more ground both musically and geographically than most musicians will explore in their entire lifetimes.

Simon has been mesmerized and influenced by the music and poetry of folksingers Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and of rockers like Elvis and The Beatles - artists whose greatest fame occurred decades before he was even born in 1985. Yet his thirst for insight led him to read and explore further, discovering early on the writing of the British poets Lord Byron (1788-1824) and William Blake (1757-1827).

He had also already played professionally on three continents, beginning in the island nation of Australia before appearing in clubs and on street corners in Britain and now in nightclubs and recording studios in Nashville and New York, with a California tour coming this summer.

Simon’s first album of original songs, a six-song EP called The Champagne Sessions (2000) cut in Nashville when he was 15, was produced by Aussie guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel and featured another esteemed Australian on background vocals - Keith Urban. A 12-song CD on Essence Records is due out soon.

Simon’s life work started very early. Simon’s family, to put it mildly, was a musical lot. It was a life that quickly came to fascinate young Simon, especially when he discovered he could get paid for singing on street corners - busking.

Like everything else about him, Simon’s earlier musical influences are surprising. "Mario Lanza and Shirley Bassey," he says, citing a tremendously popular Italian opera star and a more obscure British soul singer best known in America for her spellbinding 1965 theme from "Goldfinger". Lanza and Bassey both had voices that were larger-than-life, instruments that dripped with musical emotion. "I kept listening to this tape I had of Mario Lanza. It was probably painfully romantic," Bruce says. "And then later on, when I got into Elvis, I could hear a kind of similar thing going on with his voice as well."

As a performer, the theatricality of Elvis soon became a model for Simon. Th songwriting influences came elsewhere.

"The first time I got into Bob Dylan was when I had a Byrds record," he says. "I looked at the back of the album, and I said, ‘Who’s B. Dylan? He wrote all their songs!’"

But unlike Dylan, an American from the upper Midwest who relocated to New York, Simon is very much an Australian. His Aussie wanderlust is like that of the nomadic American Beat Generation novelist Jack Kerouac, who certainly influenced Dylan: "This old road keeps losing weight/As I drift to the nearest state," Simon writes in "Rainbow Hotel". "Where I’m going, I don’t know/Just as far as my feet can go," he continues. Australia is also a very multi-cultural place, and a country that embraces diversity and appreciates the arts, just like America.

At first, like any little kid, Simon was a pest who wanted to join in on the family gigs but couldn’t really play or sing. That quickly changed. Once Simon began studying Dylan and The Beatles and writing his own music, there was something special there. Thus began a worldwide journey supported by his family to give Simon a realistic chance to achieve his musical dreams. After appearing at school concerts and wining prizes in prestigious Australian competitions like Tamworth, Simon was adept at both harmonica and guitar. In September 1998 he took a working musical vacation to the UK. Much like Paul Simon over 30 years earlier, Simon Bruce quickly became enamoured of the English folk scene.

Performing on street corners is a tough way to make a buck (or a pound or a Euro), but it also instills in those who are good at it a natural ease and stagecraft. To this day Simon loves performing and recording, but of all the tools in his remarkable skill set he loves songwriting the most. "I like writing a lot, the process of it," he says. "It’s a form of expression. When you write something good, you know it. It’s a kind of high." Like many writers, he was at first reluctant to sing his own compositions. That has changed now, as audiences around the world are amazed at what this young guy is creating. Much of that comes from the fact he loves to read, and his reading list is not exactly typical.

"I like to read poetry," he says. "I like Robert Burns. I like Byron as well." Why? "Heavy. Despair. Kind of darkness."

And what of the influence of Robert Zimmerman, alias Bob Dylan? "He’s overwhelming," Simon said. "You can read what you like into his songs. That’s my favourite kind of thing. Vagueness is cool."

So is Simon Bruce. Beware! If you don’t know his music yet, you soon will.

February has been a big month, with a management deal with Karen-Lee Goody at Encompass, and Simon has finished recording his first album with Essence. With a release date set for later this year, Simon now returns to the US for some touring dates and more songwriting.

Simon Bruce Opens for John Hiatt
***NEWS***
Simon spent most of 2003 in the USA where he toured Texas, opened for John Hiatt in the north east and Georgia, showcased at The Bitter End in New York City, and took every opportunity to write songs and perform in his home town base, Nashville.
In November touring agency Buddy Lee Attractions signed Simon to their roster, giving Simon even more performance opportunities in the US in 2004.
Back here in Australia over summer, Simon has just signed a recording contract with Essence, Nash Chambers' record label. Expect a CD release soon!
www.simonbruce.com
Sydney singer songwriter, and now Nashville resident, Simon Bruce recently played some opening gigs with American song legend John Hiatt. Travelling to New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York state, Simon performed at some beautiful historic theatres to audiences who gave rapt attention and applause to his songs and stories.
Back in Nashville Simon has divided his time between performances, songwriting (including co-writing with people such as Mark Sanders, co-writer of the Lee Ann Womack hit "I Hope You Dance") and spending time with other ex-pats like Catherine Britt, Jedd Hughes, Kim and Carol from the Green Cards, Mark Moffatt, and recent visitors Rod McCormack and Kim Cheshire.
Simon will shortly travel to New York city to play at an ASCAP songwriters night at the renowned Bitter End, before returning to Nashville to perform at another ASCAP writers night at the Bluebird in July.
 
News July 2003
Simon's debut performance at the renowned Bitter End in New York was a shining success, with the audience enraptured by his songs and his performance. The venue was packed with people eager to see another New York Songrwiting Circle night showcasing ASCAP talent. Simon shared the round with Jonathan Rice, Jonathan Spottiswoode and Amy Carreira, and the crowd didn't hesitate when offered the chance of an extra song from the performers.
Simon' set included "Place Where You Live", "Peaceful", "Never Say Goodbye" and "Ingénue", with high demand for the latter in particular to be included on his next CD.
The next night saw Simon entertain another crowded venue, this time the Living Room in East Village. Playing at 10 p.m. the audience included people who had seen Simon in Texas, and New Yorkers with friends in Nashville who had recommended they catch Simon. Simon finished his set with the "Final Straw", and at least one label executive foresaw the song as a major radio hit. Mixing with music industry people after the show Simon discussed, and gained new insights into some of his favourite performers such as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Overall the two nights were a great start exposure of Simon to the New York crowd and Simon can't wait to go back again.
 
Simon and  Texan singer songwriter Slaid Cleaves
Been wondering what Simon's been up to?  Pictured here with Texan singer songwriter Slaid Cleaves, Simon is about to return from yet another successful stint in the US, this time conquering Texas - from Dallas to San Antonio, Austin to Gruene, and a few places in between!  Check out his website for the latest news and pics, and rush to any gigs you can in Oz as Simon expects to return to the USA in August.
mandln3a.gif (1309 bytes)Visa for Simon
Simon has just been granted his O-1 visa which entitles him to live and work in the United States for the next three years.  Granted for outstanding talent, the visa will give even more impetus to Simon's pursuit of his music career in America.
Simon is still in Austin after completing his second successful Texas tour earlier this month, and is playing at showcases during SXSW.  With requests from other artists to record his songs, and with the support of Windswept publishing who he signed with recently, Simon's music is having even more of an impact on the very receptive American audiences.   Simon returns to Nashville next week to record some of  his current songs and prepare for more American tours later in the year.
American publisher Windswept 
With artists like Nick Cave and Alison Moorer already signed to American publisher Windswept Sydney singer songwriter Simon Bruce, who recently finalised a contract with Windswept, is joining the ranks of some of the world’s most experienced and respected artists and songwriters.
"Windswept is one of the largest independent publishers with offices from New York to LA", said Simon, who leaves for the US this week. "I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a great company".
Simon, who supported Kasey Chambers during her recent Australian performances will be touring Texas during February and intends to spend much of 2003 in America to pursue his career there.
 
***NEWS***NEWS***NEWS***
If you missed Simon at his recent gigs in Melbourne and Tamworth then you might have to wait a while to see him. Simon has just signed a contract with major American publishing company Windswept which will probably see him spending much of 2003 in the States. Simon leaves on Monday to tour Texas in February/March, with gigs lined up in Houston, Dallas, and Austin as well as radio and TV performances. "I’m thrilled to have signed up with Windswept", said Simon. "They’re a well-respected company with writers like Nick Cave and Alison Moorer on their roster. It will be a great experience. I always enjoy being in America, and especially the way people there respond to music."
Keep track of Simon's US tour at www.simonbruce.com
www.simonbruce.com
From left to right: Simon, Ernie Johns, Jeff and Trish 
Simon relaxing at the Lindsay Hammond night in Tamworth.  Simon caught up with Lindsay in Tamworth for the first time in nearly two years, having last seen her in Melbourne when Simon and Lindsay appeared on the same TV program, the Denise Show.
He's back!  After a successful month performing in the USA, Simon is back in Sydney for several big performances.  Come along and bring your friends!  The Radio Station Wednesday 3 October, from 7 p.m.

Tune in to radio station 2NSB 99.3FM Simon once again joins Michael Beaumont to talk about his US trip, play some music from up and coming US artists, and perhaps even some tracks Simon recorded in America.  
The Weekend Saturday 6 October, 8 p.m. Almost Acoustic, 665a Darling Street Rozelle If you haven't been to this candlelit venue, now is the time, with Simon headlining a great night of (almost) acoustic music Sunday 7 October, 3 p.m. Kelts Bar, Blaxland Head to the hills and enjoy the popular acoustic afternoon at this great venue 

The Big One Friday 12 October, 9 p.m. at Henry IX Bar Hilton Hotel, George Street
Simon is one of 24  acts from 250 applicants chosen to showcase at Australian Music Week. Don't miss it! 
 
So...you want to know who Simon Bruce is? 
    You want to know who is this 15-year-old kid who plays Bob Dylan on his guitar and harmonica just like - well, just like Bob Dylan?
    You want to know about the boy - all right, teenager - who writes and records his own love songs and sings them like he's lived them all already?  Well then, I'll tell you - but believe me, this is only the beginning!
Part One - The Performer
     Some kids want to fit in right from the beginning, and some want to stand out.  Simon is in the latter category.  He's the kid at kinder who stood on the box on the corner and told all the other three year olds that he was Robin Hood and that he would rob the rich and share his newfound wealth with them.   Needless to say, they were spellbound, although the child care workers weren't so keen on the little revolutionary amongst them...
     He's the four-year-old who hijacked his older sister's ballet class by pirouetting across the floor when he and his dad arrived early one day... He was the five year old who suddenly fell backwards after taking a sip of coke at the local club, much to his father's concern - and then stood up, and took another sip, and did it again - and again...
    And he was the one who watched his Dad sing a few numbers with the jazz band at the local pub, and enthusiastically agreed to do his own routine of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - but not until he'd negotiated the publican up from the proffered $1.00 to the more acceptable (union rate?) of $2.00!  But most importantly for Simon in his tiny tot stage, was the Christmas when he was five years old and Santa brought the present he'd been wishing for with all his heart - a real, three quarter size, nylon string, LaGrange, guitar.  And the world is already grateful to the prescient Father Christmas who knew that this kid really meant it when he said that when he grew up he was going to play guitar and sing. 
Part Two - Primary Colours
     At 14 Simon's maybe not so keen for the world to know that he could moondance like Michael Jackson at the age of six (including the tilted hat) or that Elvis was his major hero from age 7 to 9 or that his first brief stage experience with a mouth organ was accompanying his father at the (now defunct) Green Lantern Folk Club in Melbourne, age 8.  But then, fame has its price, and there's no doubting that Simon's exposure to and involvement in music throughout his early formative years has helped shape the early success he's having on the threshold of adulthood.
    From age 5 to 10 Simon consolidated his musical experience, going to talent shows with his mother, watching his sister develop her love for piano, saxophone and guitar, and playing along with his guitarist father and his musical mates at bush picnics and nights around the campfire.  With both parents having professional musical backgrounds, Simon's gene pool is all in his favor when it comes to a career in music.  His mother was a band singer, while his father's performance talents included performing in and promoting musicals, singalongs, and a bit of old fashioned country music.  At the age of ten Simon and his sister were late (and unsuccessful!) entrants in the junior Mt Gambier Country Music Talent Quest where their father came third in the Male Vocalist section with a rousing rendition (complete with mouth organ!) of "Lights on the Hill".
    Surrounded by music, Simon's own talents were never going to lie under the surface for long...
Part Three - A Star is Starting to Twinkle
It's hard to see exactly when Simon started down the path of serious success in his early chosen field of music.  Certainly a move to Wales Street Primary School in 1995 helped - even if Simon's brush with the violin was short-lived!   Certainly his one concert performance was memorable, although more because of the professional look of the children's black trouser/white shirt outfit than because of the virtuosity of the music. Still, the teachers there nurtured musical ability and Simon started applying himself more seriously to the guitar.  He had learnt the basic chords on his trusty acoustic, but harbored a secret belief that, if only he had an electric guitar, he would be able to play it like the bands he watched on TV.  So in grade five Simon withdrew his life savings and bought his first electric guitar, secondhand at Cash Converters, for the princely sum of $173.00.  Then he had to learn the lesson of all ten-year-old budding guitarists - having an electric guitar makes not one jot of difference to your capacity to play.  It is perhaps the greatest sign of a professional that Simon did not let this unfortunate revelation deter him.  Rather his mum organized some lessons, and between them, his early lessons from his Dad and the support of the teachers at school, Simon commenced his musical career in earnest.
    Now when he went up the bush with his Dad, he could really play along, and the busking money from bush festivals at places like Kyneton and Bendigo was shared with him.  Simon started to see the financial potential of being a musician - and he was hooked!
If there was any doubt, it was dispelled when Simon and his father visited his much older half brother in Western Australia just before Simon turned 11.  His older brother had given up his office job to pursue his dream of making a living from his songwriting and music playing, with plans down the track to record his first CD.  As Simon peered through the doors of Bunbury pubs (he was too young to go in!) he saw that it was possible to make a living as a musician, and his course was set. 
     During sixth grade Simon and a mate started to play at local events, including a nearby shopping center's Christmas Fair Day, as well as at the school fete and at local homes for the elderly.  Also at this time Simon started writing his own songs, progressing from some of his earlier simple rhyming productions with his sister to some acceptable pieces on much more adult themes like unrequited love.  The path of treble clefs was unfolding before him, and he was ready to run down it - and run he has!
    After starting High School, Simon's musical talents consolidated.   As well as playing electric bass in the school band in Years 7 and 8, the duo he played in at primary school expanded to a trio and enjoyed some success in 1998 including coming second in the Werribee Rodeo talent quest in April, releasing a CD - "Appleface" - in July, and taking out three awards, including best new talent, at the Kool Skool Music Awards in December. 
Unfortunately the band went the way of so many before them, splitting up in early 1999, but Simon will always remember with fondness this early foray into the music business.   The band, however, was far from his only outlet for his musical talent during this time.  Simon's first attempt at busking solo in January 1998 netted him $45.00, including a $10 incentive payment to move closer to the appreciative listeners at one cafe.  While Simon at this time was doing covers of bands such as silverchair and Nirvana, he was simultaneously developing his own style, which was soon to be influenced by a chance exposure to Bob Dylan - and Simon was hooked!
    He started playing the mouth organ, and learning the Bob Dylan style. In July 1997 he went to the Tamworth Winter Junior Talent Quest and came away with three prizes, including best male junior vocalist, and places in original composition and instrumental.  With that achievement under his belt he headed back to Tamworth in January 1998 and at the age of 12 came second in the West Tamworth Leagues Club Talent Quest for 12 to 16 years olds.
    Meanwhile back in Sydney Simon was becoming known for his busking around Glebe and Balmain, particularly around the weekend markets.  This profile was consolidated when he was booked to play at Rozelle Markets in January 1998, a gig that he has been pleased to repeat on average every couple of months, with appreciation from stall holders and market goers alike increasing each time.
    Then in September 1998 he holidayed in Europe, taking with him his guitar and harmonicas and practicing every day, like a true pro.  Mind you, he nearly lost the harmonicas when they caused a minor security alert at Heathrow - the security guards took some convincing that they were instruments of peace, not war!
    Simon played at the Royal Oak folk club in Edinburgh, busked in Chester, and participated in a folk evening at the Royal Oak in Somerset, England. Any doubts about his international appeal were dispelled by the overwhelming enthusiasm of seasoned musicians for Simon's talent both in songwriting and performing, and by the invitations to return "anytime"
    Returning from overseas Simon concentrated on building up his local profile in the Glebe area, busking and playing gigs regularly at the markets, Glebe Point road cafes, and being booked for private parties.  A newspaper article in the Glebe identified Simon's future prospects, and at 13 years old Simon was clearly only a few short steps away from fame.  
    Part Four - On the Verge of a Galactic Development!
During 1997 and 1998 Simon started acquiring the tools of the trade, all self funded by his gigs and busking.  As well as a semi-electric $900 Epiphone Simon has purchased a $700 acoustic Gibson, while his hefty blowing means that his harmonicas need regular replacement at $40 a piece.  Simon puts a large part of his earnings back into his music, again showing the traits of the true, and truly committed, professional. 
    His commitment is starting to pay off.    In November 1998 he recorded his debut solo CD, "Two's a Crowd", with five of his original compositions.  Selling at $10 each, the first 100 copies sold in five months, just selling them while busking or playing gigs.  In June 1999 Simon formally launched this CD, by this time already into its second edition - and all of it funded by Simon through the sales of the first print run.  The CD launch was highly successful, selling 10 CDs and attended by music industry personnel, family, and friends and impressed onlookers. 
    Then the following week Simon made his first TV appearance, appearing live on Channel V's "The Joint", hosted by Jabba who had talent spotted Simon busking at the Glebe Markets the weekend before and invited him on to the show.  At ten minutes to midnight Simon played his original song, "It's Not the Same", live on national TV - and a star is born!
    In August he recorded his second CD, Meet Me in the Cold, and in the following month he was profiled on ABC's "Recovery".  As well as appearing on Radio JJJ with the band in December 1998, Simon has performed on Radio 3LO on a number of occasions in 1999.   Also in December 1999 he again found recognition at the Kool Skool Awards, receiving the special Encouragement Award.
    He started the year 2000 with a return trip to Tamworth, performing as a support act at the West Tamworth Leagues Club, performing live on the local radio station, and picking up an Encouragement Award trophy, and a third place in two Talent Quests.
    Back in Victoria in February, and he wowed the crowd at the Dandenong Folk Festival, with the usual big demand for his CDs.  He has also spent a day songwriting with Marie Wilson, and aims to see his career take off at the start of the new millennium.

 Main Page