Eight Hundred Miles
Born in the flatlands of Texas and raised under the wide open skies of Kansas, Rick Bruner writes songs that are informed by the wind, wheat fields, back roads, and rolling hills of middle America. Tossed into the bowl of influences are a lifetime of listening to and playing an eclectic variety of music. In his voice are traces of early blues, jazz and 70's soul that mingle with a rhythmic and percussive acoustic guitar style. His songs tell stories that make you want to listen, as hard to put down as a good book. Rick learned his first guitar chords from his grandfather, who lived his life around the dusty red dirt roads and plains of southwest Kansas. In between fishing expeditions and land surveys they played old folk tunes of rural America. Rick absorbed the pop and soul music of the 60's and 70's; played guitar, drums and singing in bands throughout high school. He discovered jazz in college about the same time he fell under the spell of songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits. He moved to eastern Kansas and began playing with area jazz musicians. Songwriting became Rick's focus when inspiration struck in the form of open guitar tunings and the music of Greg Brown, Shawn Colvin and Mississippi John Hurt. In 2001 he won the Heartland Folk Festival songwriting competition. Since then, Rick has been performing regularly and has opened shows for Peter Case, Bill Morrissey, Peter Keane, Don Conoscenti, Kenny White, Erika Luckett, and Edie Carey.