Dix Bruce & Jim Nunally
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Dix Bruce and Jim Nunally are award-winning acoustic guitarists. Their concerts showcase beautiful vocal harmonies (“They sound like the Everly Brothers…with a lot more nitty gritty” Flatpicking Guitar magazine) and exciting guitar playing (“…west coast virtuosos…” Acoustic Musician magazine) delivered with good humor and dazzling digital dexterity!
Both Jim and Dix come from musical families where they learned guitar: Jim from his father; Dix from his grandfather and brother. Their music is a mixture of original and traditional Americana, contemporary and historic songs, with folk and country flavors, drawn from their four CD releases: From Fathers to Sons, songs learned from their early musical heroes, The Way Things Are, compositions from Nunally, Bruce, and others, on life, love, and heartache, In My Beautiful Dream, packed with new songs written by Jim and Dix, and Brothers at Heart, their latest CD, traditional and original songs, hot and beautiful picking, in the “brother duet” style.
The duo’s performances are a trademark mixture of wit, emotion, energy, sincerity, and, of course, lots of hot guitar playing. Their enthusiasm is infectious and promotes a wonderful time for all. Jim and Dix’s music is featured on the soundtrack to the best-selling computer game “The Sims.”
Combine elements of traditional and contemporary folk, country, bluegrass, and original music, virtuoso guitar playing, and lots of down home good humor and you’ll get Bruce and Nunally. Great solo and duet singing, and songwriting, amazing guitar playing, great fun!
Jim & Dix's latest CD, “Brothers at Heart,” was nominated as the "Outstanding Country/Alt Country Album of 2004" by the California Music Awards (formerly the Bammies). Jim sez: “We’re delighted to be nominated and honored to be in the company of such great artists” as Merle Haggard and Buck Owens! Dix sez: “What a surprise! What a thrill, a highpoint of our career as a duo.”
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He has appeared on recording sessions with a variety of different artists and is the featured guitarist on the CBS television Peanuts special Snoopy’s Reunion in which Snoopy plays bluegrass guitar. Jim was awarded a Grammy certification for his performance on the 1996 Grammy Award winning Bluegrass album of the year “True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe.” The International Bluegrass Association also presented him with two awards for the same project. He can be heard on the soundtrack to the 1994 feature film The Beverly Hillbillies, released on RCA.
Jim writes and arranges songs in the country, bluegrass, and folk traditions he was raised with. The recent release of the duo’s new CD, The Way Things Are, showcases Nunally’s exceptional compositional talents.
Steeped in the various forms of traditional American music, Nunally brings events and emotions from his own life to song. His “Something I Don’t Want to Know” is a startling and moving song about his father and Jim’s family life growing up. “Home’s Where I Long to Be” is a beautiful song about hearth, home, and heart.
He began playing guitar at age 12. After college, he relocated to the Bay Area where his interest in hybrid acoustic string music led him to David Grisman’s prototype quintet in the mid-1970s. Bruce eventually teamed up with the mandolinist to edit the magazine Mandolin World News from 1978 until 1984.
In 1978 Bruce formed the band Back Up & Push to play swing and jazz on acoustic stringed instruments. The band accompanied Bruce on his CD Tuxedo Blues, which features many of his original instrumental and vocal compositions.
Dix does studio work on guitar, mandolin, and banjo and has recorded with mandolin legend Frank Wakefield, the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, among others, and has released his own collection of Americana entitled My Folk Heart. He contributed two original compositions to the soundtrack of Harrod Blank’s acclaimed documentary Wild Wheels.
Five of Dix’s compositions are included in The Way Things Are. They range from the whimsical “I Get Blue” to the Carter Family-esque “Darling Will You Ever Think of Me?” to the haunting “When I Die.”
Mel Bay Publications has published over thirty of Bruce’s instructional projects, including two titles in the bestselling You Can Teach Yourself series along with Bruce’s own play-along BackUp TRAX Book / CD sets for learning everything from bluegrass and old time music, to blues and jazz. His recent works include Doc Watson & Clarence Ashley 1960-1962, a massive and comprehensive study of guitar genius Doc Watson plus two instructional videos: Basic Country Flatpicking Guitar and Basic Swing Guitar. He is currently preparing a book on the music of guitar legend Jerry Garcia.
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