honest songs, honestly sung
singer and songwriter ben bruce

blog > gift ideas from ben! local, organic, grain-fed music

Dec 4th, 2014

Volume 12, Issue 2

Hey everybody,

Happy holidays. I was lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving with the family in Ashland, OR, and even luckier to come home to Seattle and get ready for my parents and brother to come visit for Christmas. I haven’t seen him in almost a year and half since he skipped the country and lived on the lam in London for a year, olroight?

I don’t know about you but I always refuse to get started on Christmas until Thanksgiving is over, and then I’m always surprised I didn’t give myself enough time to purchase thoughtful gifts for the holidays, so I figured I’d throw this out there: Give the gift of local, grain-​fed organic music! Giving music like this is meaningful, inexpensive and it makes a treasured gift — it’s like giving someone a diamond, except it’s about $15. Here are some great ideas for your gift-​giving pleasure:

  • My new album (http://​ben​bruce​.band​camp​.com/) is a fusion of “folk, country, and molten classic rock into steely, lucid, rock & roll” (according to American Standard Time).
  • There’s also my first album, which is total singer/​songwriter acoustic mayhem (http://​ben​bruce​.band​camp​.com/​a​l​b​u​m​/​s​y​l​vanus).
  • Another great option for your rock and roller is RL Heyer Trio’s Turn Me Upside Down (http://​rlheyer​.band​camp​.com/).
  • For the Cascadian in your life, or the lover of wide-​ranging hard rock, try Cracker Factory’s limited edition vinyl (or other formats) of No One Knows We’re Here (http://​crack​er​fac​tory​.band​camp​.com/​a​l​b​u​m​/​n​o​-​o​n​e​-​k​n​o​w​s​-​w​e​r​e​-​h​e​r​e​-​album) or lend support to their new project on Kickstarter in your loved one’s name (https://​www​.kick​starter​.com/​p​r​o​j​e​c​t​s​/​1602213079​/​c​r​a​c​k​e​r​-​f​a​c​t​o​r​y​-​c​h​a​s​i​n​g​-​g​hosts).
  • For the pop and soul lover, try Red Jacket Mine’s Pure Delight (http://​red​jack​et​mine​.band​camp​.com/).
  • For someone who moves to a less frantic beat, try the Schwa’s Cosmonaut Cowboy (http://​theschwa​.band​camp​.com/).

This is a list of local, organic, grass-​fed music but if you’d rather browse, check out Bandcamp which has tons of independent music (https://​band​camp​.com/).

I’m especially thankful this year because I’ve accomplished a lot with my music. Since the last Bruceletter we:

  • Released the album — watch this video of “Hill Country Rain” from the album release party (http://​youtu​.be/​7​B​g​c​2​u​vs6zU).
  • Made it onto MSN’s Listening Booth (http://​www​.msn​.com/​e​n​-​u​s​/​m​u​s​i​c​/​l​i​s​t​e​n​i​n​g​-​b​o​o​t​h​/​b​e​n​-​b​r​u​c​e​/​a​r​-​B​B​af4CR).
  • Played the Bite of Seattle (http://​www​.weare​plas​tic​.com/​m​u​s​i​c​/​2014​/​7​/​27​/​b​e​n​-​b​r​u​c​e​-​t​a​k​e​s​-​a​-​b​i​t​e​-​o​u​t​-​o​f​-​s​e​attle), and had my first experience with superhero stage managers (see [1], below).
  • Got reviewed by the widely respected American Standard Time (http://​www​.amer​i​can​stan​dard​time​.com/). We also did an interview (http://​www​.amer​i​can​stan​dard​time​.com/​b​e​n​-​b​r​u​c​e​-​a​s​t​-​i​n​t​e​r​view/).

Whew!

So remember this as the year draws to a close — by the time of the longest night, the days begin to grow longer. Keep on striving! A little hope can go a long, long way. My hope is that during this season you get some time with family and friends, and let them know you love them. For sure I appreciate all the support over the year and look forward to another turn around the sun with you all in 2015.

– Ben

[1] As has happened before (http://​www​.ben​bruce​.com/​b​l​o​g​/​w​a​s​-​m​y​-​b​i​g​-​g​i​g​-​r​uined), I almost blew my biggest gig ever. The band was ready, I was prepared, we did a quick line check and everything was good. I got the nod and stepped up the mic and said my traditional “Hey everyb…” and as I strummed the guitar a horrible screeching noise billowed out from the system, making thousands and thousands of people cringe and cover their ears. It was horrible.

In all my wildest visions and dreams this had never come up — but as I looked blankly at RL on my left, the stage manager came running over. He planted his feet and had his hands on his hips and stared at the many cables and stands and I felt that he was seeing electricity flow with his third eye.

He pointed to a cable and bent down and pulled it out on one side, pulled it out on the other, and I swear to god, without looking he lifted his hand up into the air and the other end of a new cable, flung by another stage hand, landed in his hand perfectly and the two of them plugged in the new cable at either end at the same time. They looked at me like, okay, man, strum, which I did, and everything worked. This all must have taken less than a minute. Amazing work!”

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