the hard-edged world of country music, many labor. There are
those who win the tip jar gigs, the show fairs and the out
of town music festivals. Some, prompted by family and money,
get to cut an album. Then, there are those who, as quickly
as they arrive, fade. No, on the rough road to any sort of
fame in Australian country music the same grit that made
Toby, Keith, Alan and Kenny is needed – a measure of luck, a
bag of talent, a mile of determination and an unshakeable
passion. Even then, to make it in a genre that suffers from
a lack of radio and a lack of mainstream interest that may
not be enough.
But, a few have made it through.
There is room for others.
Former Texan and now an Aussie
resident for five years, Doug Bruce is certainly a guy who
has the qualities. Blessed with a strong and tried country
voice, a tad Alan Jackson on some tracks, this former
drummer and backing vocalist leaves you clearly decided --
the best music doesn’t always arrive on a major label.
The celebrated musician -- he
has snagged enough local awards, New Talent nods and chart
placements and Country Music Channel plays to grab more than
second glances – is back with a follow up album to his 2008
release, All I Need. His new independent outing, A
Good Place, is a pleaser sure to grab the ears of those
who like smoky bars, love and loss, and the fit of
toe-tapping, dancin’ fare blaring out of their CD player.
In a few words, this is a
knockout release. I mean, this father of two young sons can
sing in a voice that bends and shapes to country
familiarities; he plays, and, as the liner notes share, he
writes. Rather than a fashioned hat and an oversized belt
buckle, the image here is humble, honest, caring and
melodic. It’s country. Pure. Simple. Unpretentious. And, it
With an energetic lashing of
steel, guitar, fiddle, piano and other country
instrumentation, Bruce works easy across the album’s 13
tracks, for which he penned five.
The album jumps straight for the
chute with the snappy “Good Place for Love”.
Heart-on-the-sleeve emotions receive a keen vocal working,
while the made for a Saturday jukebox “The Bed You Lied In”,
another Bruce write, is a guaranteed crowd mover. To vary
the mood and tempo, the emotive “Don’t Let Me Stay Too
Long”, and the home-spun advice of “ Having What you Want”,
“Man In The Mirror” and “Hey Mister” all fine tune an album
that rounds out with the duet partnering on “ Close Enough”
with emerging talent, Amber Joy Poulton.
In the hard-edged world of
country music, many labor. Doug Bruce has been treading the
boards for over 20 years. Now a constant and in-demand
performer, he and his band have spent time touring the
breadth of Australia, while firming up interest in the USA
This album, finally, may spell
This latest CD echoes just what
hard work, crafted writing and a voice honed for country
music can deliver. And for Doug Bruce, it’s a good place to