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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 at festivals, clubs and a range of 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.

Bruce's blog

Bruce now has a blog to share some of his news and experience in a bit more detail. Check it out: Bruce's blog

News and upcoming gigs:

2016 got off to an exciting start with Bruce taking a holiday/tour in Tasmania over January. This took in the Cygnet Folk Festival and a number of other concerts including a very special evening at the Rosny Barn with Ronnie Summers as well as Enda Kenny and Dave O'Neill. 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 also gave a presentation at the National Folklore Conference. And there's lots more coming up.

See the gigs page for details.

Bruce goes digital
Bruce's recordings are now 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 went 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 the National Folk Festival over Easter. Oh, the circularity of it all! He sounds eerily like his great-grandfather.

Fortunately the moment was captured on film: View 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 musical production that inspired the folk revival and the formation of the BMC all those years ago. You can see Bruce performing the song in this video, and download the lyrics and music.
Unsung Heroes of Australian History CD
Bruce joins forces with some other wonderful songwriters and singers 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 has come up a real treat.

To find out more about the project, listen to samples from the CD, and to buy the CD, go to
And check out the showcase video
Bruce's Videos
Check out Bruce's videos, mostly of Bruce's live performances, including:
- The Beanie Song
- Kemal Ataturk's Tribute to the Anzacs
- Australia's Lost Languages
- The Man and The Woman and the Edison Phonograph (with Ronnie Summers)
- The Man and The Woman and the Edison Phonograph (wax cylinder recording)
- I Shared a Urinal with Martin Ferguson
- The Rules of English
- Olegas
- Down at the Pool
- The Reedy River Still Flows
- The Old Bush Dance
. . . and many more.

Plus the Unsung Heroes of Australian History showcase video and several songs from the performance of the show at the National Folk Festival in 2010

Go to Videos page

New Videos
The newest video of Bruces on YouTube is his music setting of Kemal Ataturk's Tribute to the Anzacs, a simple, eloquent, powerful song.

Some of Bruce's songs performed at the Ringwood Folk Club in February 2014 are up on YouTube. These are more traditional sounding, but original, songs, accompanied by a great band of local musicians. The vibe is true Folk Club!

There is also a short highlights video of Bruce and Tracey in concert at the Burrinja Café.

Check them out on the Videos page
The story behind The Man and The Woman and the Edison Phonograph
Ten years ago Bruce wrote a song on the extradinary 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 about the background to this song, and how Bruce and Ronnie Summers got together to sing it.
The Collector and the Songwriter:
Paper delivered t National Folklore Conference 2016

Peter Ellis OAM was Australia's foremost collector of dances and dance music. He passed away in 2015. Bruce collaborated with him on several works, including The Old Bush Dance. Bruce presented a well-received paper at the 2016 National Folklore Conference about his collaboration with Peter, drawing on the themes of tradition and creativity in folklore. The presentation includes many images, plus links to videos of Peter Ellis in performance as well as two songs presented by Bruce and several musicians who worked closely with Peter.
Go to the presentation.