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Welcome to Bruce Watson’s web page


Bruce is a major Australian songwriter and performer in the folk tradition. Based in Melbourne, he performs around Australia and New Zealand at festivals, clubs and other venues.

Bruce is a hilarious humorist and a writer and performer with the power to move audiences to tears. His performances are joyful and thoroughly engaging, with witty lyrics and energetic presentation. He is a masterful craftsman of songs, be they evocative and heart wrenching, or side-splittingly funny.

News and upcoming gigs:

2016 got off to an exciting start with a holiday/tour in Tasmania, taking in the Cygnet Folk Festival and a number of other concerts including a very special evening at the Rosny Barn with Ronnie Summers. He performed at the Port Fairy Folk and National Folk Festivals with the Zamponistas, as well as a few guest appearances in his own right. He gave a presentation at the National Folklore Conference, has had several local Melbourne gigs, and an Unsung Heroes of Australian History tour of Tasmania.

Lots more coming up, including a couple of shows in the Darebin Music Feast and a NSW tour to round off the year.

See the gigs page for details.

Bruce's blog

To read about some of Bruce’s news and experiences in a bit more detail, check out Bruce's blog

Digital Bruce
Bruce's recordings are all available for digital download. His albums can be downloaded for only $9.99 each, and individual songs for $0.99.

Download music from CD Baby
Wax cylinder recording
As well as dabbling in new technology, Bruce has gone retro with some 19th century technology. He had the amazing experience of recording his song "The Man and the Woman and the Edison Phonograph" onto wax cylinder at a recent National Folk Festival. Oh, the circularity of it all! He sounds eerily like his great-grandfather.

Fortunately the moment was captured on film: View video
Unsung Heroes of Australian History
Bruce joins forces with Wendy Ealey and Moira Tyers in this exciting musical production which takes a quirky look at Australia’s history. The show has received rapturous responses from audiences and reviewers, and the CD is a real treat. To find out more, check these out:

- Unsung Heroes of Australian History website
- Introducing Unsung Heroes of Australian History video
- Theme song video
Bush Music Club Song, Tune and Poetry Competitions
Bruce recently won the song award as part of the Sydney BMC's 60th anniversary celebrations. His song, The Reedy River Still Flows, captures the spirit of the original Reedy River show that inspired the folk revival and the formation of the BMC all those years ago. See Bruce performing the song in this video, and download the lyrics and music.
Bruce's Videos
Bruce's videos, mostly of live performances, can be viewed on the web. For more details go to Videos page

The story behind The Man and The Woman and the Edison Phonograph
Some years ago Bruce wrote a song on the extraordinary story of Horace Watson recording Tasmanian Fanny Cochrane Smith singing traditional Aboriginal songs in 1903. He has now recorded it with Tasmanian Elder Ronnie Summers.
Read the story of this song and how Bruce and Ronnie Summers got together to sing it.
The Collector and the Songwriter:
Paper delivered at the National Folklore Conference 2016

The late Peter Ellis OAM was Australia's foremost collector of dances and dance music. Bruce collaborated with him on several works, including The Old Bush Dance. Bruce presented on this collaboration, drawing on the themes of tradition and creativity in folklore. The presentation includes images and videos of Peter in performance plus songs presented with musicians who worked closely with Peter.
Go to the presentation.