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Sunday Spotlight: Music Bridges All Divides

 

Each Sunday, I take a step away from daily politics and focus on someone who has done extraordinary things or who we may need to know a little better. This week’s spotlight is on my friend and incredible musician, Bruce Marshall. Bruce and I could not be further apart politically, but we do not talk politics. Bruce makes beautiful music, and I enjoy the music.

I was having dinner at the Grog in Newburyport, MA, twenty years ago when this sound came up from the lounge downstairs. We were drawn to the sound, and I have been a fan of Bruce Marshall and his various bands to this day.

Bruce is an original artist with roots in Americana, Southern Rock, and a touch of folk. I have seen him as a solo acoustic performer in a duet with James Montgomery and his feature band, the Bruce Marshall Group. He also has a band called the Shadow Riders which does a tribute to the Marshall Tucker Band. Bruce was in a band with Toy Caldwell for a bit which is where he honed his Southern Rock sound.

During COVID, Bruce had to shut down his ferocious schedule of performing live. To stay in touch with his loyal fans, he did a two-hour live stream from his basement studio in Naples, Maine, on Facebook every Wednesday night. It may have been a way for him to stay active, but it was therapeutic for us. It was a chance to step away from the restrictions of the Pandemic and listen to the music that has become so important in our lives.

I have listened to Bruce in four states, from Maine to Rhode Island. He and his group not only played at my sweetheart Sharon’s sixtieth birthday party but also learned one of her favorite songs, Magic by Kenny Chesney, as a special touch for the occasion. I always try to introduce new people to the sound I love so much, and never has he failed to deliver.

One of my favorite Bruce Marshall memories was a night maybe ten years ago. They were the season’s final act at the Inn on the Blues in York, Maine. The band was on fire, and the fans were ready to party. The servers got up on the bar dancing Coyote Ugly style, and the whole place formed a conga line down to the ocean and back. I am sure that venue has never had that electricity since.

Bruce and I could not be more diametrically opposed politically, but that has never interfered with our friendship. For us, it is all about the music, and Bruce is a magician to me. This past week, six of us went to a small pub in Maine to see Bruce. He was supposed to be doing his usually weekly solo set. We were in for a treat. He was joined by John Donahue, who was with Bruce until he left eight years ago for Nashville. John was one of my favorite performers in Bruce’s bands, and his sax and fiddle play is second to none. Also on hand were the bass player and female singer from another local band. The four of these artists brought down the house. That is what Bruce Marshall does. He makes great music and makes people forget about the world around them and get lost in the tunes. He has done that for me for two decades, and I am forever thankful for Bruce Marshall and his beautiful sounds.

Content syndicated from ConservatriveViewFromNH.com with permission

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Ray Cardello

I love this country and what it has contributed to the world. We are a young and still forming country but I have very conservative views that make me fearful for the direction many want to see us heading. I believe we are strong enough to keep us on track but making folks aware of the truth is essential to a successful and prosperous future for us all.

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