The Bruce Curtis band is a duo that consists of Bruce Curtis himself and bassist Tyler Carlson. They’ve been doing gigs together since 2004. When asked how they got together, Bruce commented; “He heard me playing in a nursing home home one time and he said ‘This guy is the real deal.’ So he hooked up with me, says ‘You mind if I play bass for you?,’ and so we started doing these gigs together about three or four years ago.””I heard this guy and I said, ‘Boy that guy can really sing,’ and so I just decided to play bass with him,” added Tyler. “I wanted to accompany him because he did those songs so well. I’m not a big fan of those old songs. I am now but I wasn’t then; but he did them so well.”
The kinds of areas he plays in are very diverse, from the Railroad BBQ in Kyle and the Alterra Nursing Home, to a 10,000+ crowd of spectators at the annual Labor Day Parade in Lousville, Colorado. His sets consist of many amazingly accurate and beautifully rendered covers as well as the lyrical songs he himself writes.
“I like to specialize in the old dynamic artists of the 50s and 60s, Jim Reeves, Marty Robbins, Eddy Arnold, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Johnny Horton, everybody in those areas,” said Bruce. “I like songs that describe something I’m going through, emotional songs that talk about something. Like ‘You Gave Me A Mountain;’ that song is all about my life. That’s one of the songs I’m probably going to open with in one of those national contests. It’s so dynamic and it’s so much about life.”
The style of the songs Bruce and Tyler perform is comparable to these old artists. “Their vocals are very bare. The vocals are so pure and so easy to hear,” said Tyler. “If you listen to Americana or New Country, with a lot of it you don’t really know if the singer is a good singer because it’s almost like rock.”
After 22 years of military service, Bruce retired in 1991. He has played with many different musicians over the years, including Leo Ladner, a former bassist for Jerry Lee Lewis.
Bruce Curtis Fallgren has had an interesting and at times, arduous journey to end up here in Texas. “I used to play a lot of music up in Colorado. I played in bars and stuff all the time then, long four-hour shows,” said Bruce. “The bass player I had with me up there was quite a guy. His name was Jim Stubbs, and he used to play music with Charlie Walker. He wrote the song ‘Charlie’s Shoes.’ Jim wrote that song about Charlie Walker and Charlie Walker’s wife because every time Charlie would leave town he thought that Jim was hitting on his wife. I don’t know if he was or not but he wrote this song and it became a hit. He got me singing up in Colorado. I was playing at a fundraiser one time and he heard me singing, same thing as Tyler, he came up and he said ‘you want to put a band together?’
“Jim passed away and his wife down here lived was in Wimberley. I had gone through a divorce and I was in the state of Washington. Jim’s wife was up in age and she needed some help, and I thought, ‘well, this is just what I need, I need to get out of here’ and so I came to Texas. I always had a part of me that loved Texas, even though I had never been here before,” Bruce explained.
“When I came down here to help her, that’s when the cancer hit. It was pretty devastating. I mean, it changed me. That’s why I sit down now to play, they messed up my insides so much. They did radiation and stuff on my intestines. I’m getting stronger now, though, and a few good things are happening.”
Bruce’s cancer has been in remission since 2005. He stays active playing in nursing homes and for fundraisers, as well as other venues. He plays in Colorado still, at the Labor Day festivities in Louisville, Colorado. “It’s probably the only city that has a Labor Day parade. This is the sixteenth year that I’ve been doing this for them, playing music before the parade starts. It’s my biggest gig of the year.” He is leaving to do this concert again this year and will be back in this area in October. “I’m going to do some other gigs up in Colorado, too. I’ve got a friend whose mother is in a nursing home up in Colorado Springs. He was in the Army band with me.”
Bruce Curtis Fallgren has earned some awards over the yeas, taking second place a few times in the Nations National Veterans Arts & Crafts Festival in the Country Western Division.
To find out more about him or to contact him about booking, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
By SARAH STEVENS