Origin: Calgary, Alberta
Bruce Innes and music - stuck with each other for life. Bruce, a native of Calgary, Alberta, began performing professionally at age 11. In those early years, his father, a professional musician, chauffeured him to and from jobs making sure the pre-teen was home safely by midnight. In high school, he was writing vocal parts and arrangements for his group’s performances. At the University of Montana he began seriously writing songs which his group, The Big Sky Singers, recorded and performed. His final year in college he was hand picked by blues legend Josh White (in poor health at the time and unable to play guitar) to tour and play guitar behind Josh's vocals. Living the blues life with Josh as mentor left an indelible imprint on Bruce’s musical style. After the end of the tour in NYC, Bruce returned to Montana. Playing piano in Butte he met Hunter S. Thompson who became a fan and suggested that Bruce go to California and try out a bigger stage. Bruce took The Big Sky Singers to L.A. where they released an album with Dot Records containing songs and arrangements by Bruce. In the yearly poll of a national jazz magazine, they were voted “best vocal group in the nation”. The future was full of promise until the group was decimated by the sudden death of David Stiles, the lead singer. Bruce remained in L.A. working as a studio musician and songwriter for hire. His songwriting/performing ability led to being asked to create a stage show for sports celebrity, Maury Wills, which they performed in the off season during Maury’s heyday, touring the Orient and U.S.
Bruce returned to Calgary and began performing in a little locally renowned coffee house with incredible but undiscovered performers like Joni Anderson (now known world wide as Joni Mitchell) and David Wiffen. Using The Pig's Eye as a performance base he formed The North Country Singers with Graham Bruce, Bliss Mackie and Dixie Lee Stone. The group performed across Canada before moving to Los Angeles and changing the group name to THE ORIGINAL CASTE. At Dot Records they recorded two singles before signing with TA Records, a label distributed by Bell Records (Columbia). At TA Records Bruce met Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, who produced THE ORIGINAL CASTE’S first album and two hit singles, ONE TIN SOLDIER and MR. MONDAY. The success of these two songs (Certified Gold in Canada and Japan) enabled the group to tour extensively in the United States, Canada and Japan. Along the way Bruce collaborated with other artists, including singing with his friend, John Denver, on his Rocky Mountain High album. Bruce then took a break from the road to be at home while his two children were growing up. He remained active, however, writing and in the recording studio. He wrote and performed “Musictorials”, a series of humorous/satirical topical songs for Canada radio. He wrote songs for such notable artists as Ethel Ennis (jazz), Mickey Gilley (country) and Ray Stevens (comedy).
Proving that excellence is timeless, Bruce, in concert, creates a singular connection with audiences performing a mix of original material and other songs. His distinctive, disarming charm and on-stage ease is the perfect backdrop for his consummate skill on guitar and piano, and unforgettable voice and style. His shows are a tapestry of exceptional songs and anecdotes of relevance, significance and contribution to his career - some humorous, some poignant, some peeks into his friendships with the famous. Bruce continues his lifelong involvement and passion for music - performing, writing, and recording. He performs in concert as a Solo artist (vocals, guitar and piano) - with his group THE ORIGINAL CASTE, bringing the show One Tin Soldier Rides Again to enthusiastic audiences, and in a unique two person show with classical pianist, Susan Spelius Dunning, Classical Meets The Blues.