Film & TV

5 Questions and a Song with Robert Bruey

Southold singer-songwriter Robert Bruey recorded his third studio album, Carousel, in 2014, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds. More than 150 fans and friends pitched in to the project to enable Bruey to make the 11-track record of original music.

Bruey’s introspective lyrics are delivered with his soulful voice and the fingerstyle guitar technique. His live performances can be described as “intimate,” regardless of the size of the venue.

“Robert Bruey is one of those singer/songwriters who gets your attention without raising his voice, no smoke and mirrors, no need for speed. Just the words, the guitar, and his marvelous melodies,” remarked WPPB radio personality Bonnie Grice.

We posed these five questions to Bruey and asked him to point us to one of his songs he thinks everyone should hear:

1. Outside of music, what other talents do you have that might surprise people?
Working with metals, glass and wood is something that I really enjoy. I am currently working on a project I call a “Garden Carousel,” which revolves and lights up at night. I don’t know what I would do if I were not creating something whether it is music or physical. I think we as humans are all creative in some way and that there is a need in all of us to feel a sense of contribution.

2. What’s the best thing a fan has ever done for you?
Once a woman came up to me after a performance and thanked me for my music. She had been battling cancer and could not speak for a while because of it. She explained to me that my album Silver Burning Sky had helped her get through those days. It wasn’t a matter of pride; it was a matter of empathy and relation. I too needed that album, and for someone else to be able to get through something much more difficult than the things that I needed it for was a confirmation. It was an affirmation to me that this music, this writing, has a purpose and I need to honor that.

3. What’s one thing you don’t spend nearly enough time doing?
It feels like there is never enough time to enjoy the outdoors. I love riding my mountain bike, hiking and kayaking. It seems like there is always a rush to be somewhere and need a 25th hour to be in the woods or on the water. It’s so important for me to be rooted to nature and to be within of that simple chain of life. A tree standing isn’t just an inanimate object—it lives, it breathes at the simplest level and I need to be reminded to be simple sometimes.

4. If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing with your life?
It seems like I would love to be an engineer and build things that help communities like bridges or irrigation systems. It all goes back to that sense of contribution, to hopefully leave this place in a better way

5. What other East End musician—who is not regularly a member of your band—do you most enjoy performing with?
Getting a opportunity to be on stage with Inda Eaton is a joy for me. Although few and far between are the chances because of our schedules, her energy lifts me, makes me happy and tunes me into that light….. that honest light.

And a song…
Stream Robert Bruey’s “River of Stars” here: robertbruey.com/river-of-stars

Robert Bruey performs at his CD release concert in April 2014 at Vail Leavitt Music Hall in Riverhead.
Robert Bruey performs at his CD release concert in April 2014 at Vail Leavitt Music Hall in Riverhead. Photo credit: Nicholas Chowske

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