Embracing the craft of songwriting.
The marriage of music and language has created a conduit, a well-spring for human expression.
Since recording my first LP in 1984, I’ve recorded 14 albums of original and adapted traditional music across a broad range of the Roots Music genre. I’ve recorded songs with some of the most legendary names in Acoustic Music including Sam Bush, Cia Cherryholmes, John Cowan, Valdy and Wendy Waldman.
Bruce seems to be concerned with and committed to is “the song”. In the same regard that Lyle Lovett, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and folks like Darrell Scott are. He works at it with discipline, a sense of wonder, and trying to honor the very craft of it. I think his results speak for themselves..
Thanks John, for lending your incredible voice to my songs!
A History in Song
I’m probably best recognised for composing historically-based ballads. I’ve specialized in preserving Pacific Canadian history through music and have received commissions to pen several commemorative songs, among them The Ghost of Simon Fraser (BC Coast and Mountain Tourism), Robbie McBeath (Village of Kinlochbervie, Scotland), Friendly Harbours (Port of Vancouver) 23 Camels and The Ghost of Kitty O’Rielly (Heritage BC).
November 20th, 1917. World War 1 was raging in Europe. Entrenched in bitter warfare at the Battle of Cambria in France, a regiment of Seaforth Highlanders was pinned down by intense machine gun fire. Lance-Corporal Robert McBeath, from the small Sutherland village of Kinlochbervie, Scotland volunteered to attack the guns alone, armed only with a Lewis gun and revolver. Joined by a tank, McBeath attacked five machine gun nests in succession, capturing three officers and thirty enemy soldiers. For this heroic action Robert McBeath was awarded the Victoria Cross. McBeath returned home to a hero’s welcome. He married Barbara MacKay and soon after, emigrated to Vancouver, Canada, where he joined the Vancouver Police Department. October 9th, 1922 Constable Robert McBeath was fatally shot while engaging in an arrest.
Pioneer Days was inspired by a visit to the BC Farm Museum in Fort Langley, BC, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017. For 25 years the BC Farm Museum Association had been run entirely by volunteers. They insist they were ‘standing on the shoulders’ of all those who volunteered before them. Each adding what they can by using their experience and knowledge. This pioneering spirit is just one reason why the BC Farm Museum could be aptly termed the BC ‘Pioneer Life’ Museum. This song is dedicated to those who’s shoulders we are all standing upon; Our pioneers!
In 2015, Tiller’s Folly released Stirring Up Ghosts, a CD collection of 24 historically-based ballads, written on Pacific Canadian themes.