Bruce Balmer

Bruce Balmer

 Dallas, Texas, USA

True Love, Family, Natural Wonder; Once Bruce begins performing, anyone in the room will stay for the set. Beautiful, Powerful, Honest Songs. Titles: Reach Me Out Early, Coattails, Mom & Dad's Polka. 17th to 20th Century Moods Electric-Acoustic Virtuoso Guitar; Riveting Harmonic Rhythms


Bruce lives in Dallas with his wife, Lisa Markley, of The Malvinas and Markley & Balmer, Bruce and Lisa's alter-ego duo. He's traveled from high school gym dances in the Catskills where he grew up, to the Saloons of Cheyenne to the Pubs of Dundalk and Dublin to the Streets of the East Village listening to and playing songs solo and in bands; he'll sit in with anyone, just ask him. (He's also learned to sit out!) Bruce takes inspiration from paintings and books, ideas of other obscure songwriters, thoughts arising from days of carpentry and construction on city and country job sites. He writes a song every week or two, with lots of kibbitzing from accomplices.



Written By: Bruce Balmer

Bruce Balmer 3/29/03

My Mom and Dad were 20th century
Somehow got by without serious injury
Birds of a feather, scoffed at the weatherman

My Mom and Dad left me a legacy
“You can make lunch out of a fantasy,
Son, if you’ve got a coin and a slot machine;

“Who’s going to stop you from pretending it’s all a carousel?
Tell ‘em all ‘Go to Hell;’

“Just do it… kindly.”

My Mom met Dad, “He’s from Massachusetts
A man with a tool, and he knows how to use it
Gets 2 bucks an hour; I think it’s now or not!”

My Mom married Dad, they were nobody’s fools,
They put all they had into wagons and swimming pools
They put aside the cares of the wide, wild world

My Dad thought my Mom was
All any woman could ever be;
Least that’s what he told me,

And I believed him. (Everybody whistle!)

Who’s going to keep you from
Carving a horse to a carousel
Or a dragon, as well?

Just you let them try...
(How about that dragon?...Fire breathin'... like my MOM...


Written By: Bruce Balmer

Bruce Balmer 1/6/03

Rising sun, reach me out early;
Warm up that little belly ball, and stand me up right
Shove me out the door; show me the pointy shadows
So I’ll know the way

Today’s the day, today’s the day;
Today’s the day we’re gonna set things right;
Today’s the day, today’s the day;
Today’s the day we’ll be movin’ along

Let me the nerve to let bygones by,
While I take up my own sweet bundle;
And let me not feel so much the dark, craggy holes
Left by absent friends


Rising sun, reach me out early;
Roll me to a catalog of well-suited tasks
And at the end of the day, let me arrive at a
Big party, with grass and water,
A low breeze and a mossy hollow
To cradle me through the night;

Rising sun,
Reach me out early.


Written By: Bruce Balmer

Bruce Balmer 7/1/02

Ridin’ in on my Coattails, Crystal chandelier for sale;
Catspaw pullin’ out toenails, Creases flattened, goin’ to jail.
Cross words wit a nitwit, Chrome job full of flakes and pits;
Fungus on a wristlet, Home bus full of Football Brits.

Pigeon spins on past
Hen couldn’t care less;
Crow songs last and last
Had enough of watercress.

Death hangs from a first kiss, Hip on college campuses;
Christians in the circus, Stepping over carcasses.
Contacts hard to come by, Eyeballs roll, elasticize;
Loosen up your string tie, Swat and miss at gnats and flies.

Roast pig on the spit
Smoke curls around my feet;
Railroad lanterns lit
Rented rooms and trailer suite.

Weekend in the Catskills, Lost a ski in the bogey wheels;
Scrumpets in the landfills, Land of erstwhile sour deals.
Shovelin’ in the drygoods, Visibility gets bad;
Drinkin’ in the deep woods, Solvency’s the latest fad.

Impeccable accounts
Razors whet and hone;
Surface tension mounts
Hours pass, stone by stone.


Written By: Bruce Balmer

Bruce Balmer 5/1/08; rev. 08/09

East Texas blowin' over the hood
166 to Shreveport
You're drivin', we're sneakin'
A rendez-vous, doin' eighty miles an hour

Changing state
Dark to deep green
Exchange of names coming up
No change in what I mean

Love bugs flattering the windshield
Red River winds on down, Red Stick
Rest stop, Natchitoches (Knack-a-Dish)
Fuming gas, an afternoon picnic

Changing shades 'n'
Sun-dress, change of scene;
Lacy canopy flashes
Dark to deep green

Route south, U.S. 49
Hang a Louise-ianna east out of Laf-
Ayette; disjointed concrete,
Conversations, wholes and half

Changing station
Tune the radio
Dark to deep green
One more armadillo

Deep bayou, movin' slow
I love you, heaven knows
Hay wagon, days of old
Lazy fair, Baton Rouge

Dark to deep green
Change of ways coming up
No change in what I mean


Upstream - 2000
Blues/Bossa/Jump/Waltz - 2006
Continuously Updated song selection at:
others at:
markley & balmer - 2008 - (with Lisa) Soona Songs

Set List

If I Was A Denigrater
Love Is Not A Word
Changed Man
Soldiers In The House
Mom And Dad's Polka
If I Was A Better Man

some covers: Purple Haze, I Always Get Lucky With You, Greensleaves instr. in 5/4, Mystery Train, She Walk Right In (She walk Right Out)