Eric Bruton
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Eric Bruton

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Review
By
Arthur Shuey


Ocracoke Sessions
Captain Eric
via www.capefearwebs.com


Eric Bruton is a convincing, compelling performer. By praising Nature's beauties and alerting us to her dangers, he has become the sort of traditional folk musician who makes the rest of us grateful for the existence of traditional folk music. His commitment to speaking on behalf of our conjoined hearts and sensibilities rather than on behalf of his own bankbook is complete; the guy makes Bob Dylan look like Milli Vanilli.

Ocracoke Sessions is a collection of narrative songs recorded on Ocracoke Island with familiar doghouse bass man Dick Roberts and dobro deity Parks Todd. It is in character for Captain Eric to go to Ocracoke Island to record a dozen songs about the water, both because he has spent the largest part of his working life on the water (on the waters of coastal North Carolina whenever possible) and because he is the kind of artist who benefits genuinely and tremendously from working in a studio surrounded by the very environment his songs are about.


Again, this is traditional folk. It is purely acoustic and somewhat rough. It's fresh fried fish, greens and corn bread on a chipped plate, served outside on the first perfect day of Spring. It praises, it reminds, and it washes the listener clean. While Ocracoke Sessions is itself great listening, it also enhances the sound of the CDs which follow it onto one's player by refreshing one's memories as to all music's purpose and lineage. Parks Todd: dobro guitar Dick Roberts: bass guitar Eric Bruton: all other instruments, vocals, songs

- Encor - Wilmington, NC


Southport Rotary Club P.O. Box 11111
Southport, NC 28461

July 15,2004


Eric Bruton
Low Country Balladeer
713HolbrookAve.
Wilmington, NC 28412
Dear Eric:
On behalf of the Southport Rotary Club please accept our sincerest appreciation for your performance during the Installation Banquet in June. The members enjoyed your playing and singing very much. You added greatly to our event.


Sincerely,
Karen Sphar 2004/05 President
<srnithnr»rt

- Mail



SOUTHPORT III
Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce
The North Carolina Fourth of July Festival, Inc.
4841 Long Beach Road • Southport, NC 28461
910-457-6964 • 800-457-6964 • Fax 910-457-0598 www.southport-oakisland.com/events/index.htm

August 3, 2004


Mr. Eric Bruton
713 Holbrook Avenue
Wilmington, NC 28412
Dear Eric,
I would like to thank you for your participation in our 2004 NC Fourth of July Festival in Southport, NC. Your style of music was great to listen to and enjoyed by all. I have heard many positive comments about your performance and your original songs. It is always a pleasure to hear promising local entertainers.
Again, thank you for sharing your talent with our festival.
Sincerely,

Barbara Gray
2004 Entertainment Chair
- Mail



Merchants' Association
321 North Front Street
Wilmington, North Carolina 28401
(919) 343-9896

August 25, 1989


Mr. Eric Bruton
224 Spruce Drive
Wilmington, North Carolina 28403
Dear Eric:
The Cotton Exchange Merchants' Association and I would like to thank you for participating in our "Tunes at Noon" program. We are unable to personally greet the many visitors to The Cotton Exchange, and it was delightful to have you serve us so well as our ambassador of good will. Your lively music and friendly personality made our visitors feel right at home. We appreciate that.
We plan to host "Tunes at Noon" again next year from Mother's Day until Labor Day. We sincerely hope you can participate again. In the meantime, we wish you success and happiness; and thank you for a. job well done.
Sincerely yours,

Jean H. Rice Promotions Director
- Mail


Music Review
By Arthur Shuey

Above High Tide

You won't find a more open, sharing man than Eric Bruton, or one more eager to take an idea and run with it. That's the Who, What, When, Where, How and Why of his traditional folk music. Folk singers are observers and reporters. Like journalists, they sometimes make people who aren't comfortable with themselves uncomfortable. Captain Bruton does, because his delivery is subtly underlain with an invitation to observe back. One gets the idea that he'd like a world full of folk singers, not because of the great hootenanny that would result, but because of how much we'd all learn if we were all writing songs about one another and having songs written about ourselves. It's a subtle thing — as if he gave up embarrassment for Lent.
Song topics range from extremely personal reflections on a high school reunion to extroverted anthems encouraging listeners to look around, think and react to Humanity and Nature. The music's basic acoustic guitar and straightforward vocals sweetened with backing harmonies and understated mandolin. It's "roots" music, not because one can perceive Captain Bruton's folk and blues roots, but because those roots suffice to communicate his observations; they are not overlain with anything whatsoever. Liner notes include all lyrics and good synopses of the songs' inspirations.
- Encor - Wilmington, NC


Review by Arthur Shuey - http://arthurshuey.150m.com/nov06revs.htmlUnconditionalEric BrutonPelican Records PR030045http://pelican.capefearnet.net/Catalogue.htmlI wonder if these guys know how important they are to us. True, earthy, roots folk music has to be here with us, no matter what touches our favorite, surface nerves and aesthetics. This is what taught us to hum. This is what we walk and work to. This is the first song you ever wrote and I ever wrote, and we've all written songs at one time, whether we knew or even recognized the act at the time. Let's try an analogy -- Hey, all you New Yorkers gnoshing on miniature beefshroom kabobs at that post-cubist art gallery opening, spare a thought and lift your plastic stemware once to the cattleman in Kansas and the butcher in Chicago, will you? They're there. They're part of your event. It couldn't happen and you couldn't be there without them having rolled up their sleeves and done what they do. Not to criticize or judge your fruits, but the best, healing contact with the real world you live in requires that you deal with the roots instead of the fruits once in awhile. This artist, on this as on past releases and in frequent Eastern North Carolina performance, is the roots.The titles give a good feel for the release: &quot;Unconditional,&quot; &quot;Fernandina Nights,&quot; &quot;Precious Rose,&quot; &quot;Winter Magnolias,&quot; &quot;Love Like This,&quot; &quot;Hasbeen Romance,&quot; &quot;Love Again With You,&quot; &quot;For the Smiles,&quot; &quot;All Over Again,&quot; &quot;So Long Blues,&quot; Wilmington to Fort Worth,&quot; &quot;Anniversary Song,&quot; &quot;Siren's Song&quot; and &quot;Don't Turn Away.&quot; They sound, from title to fade, like they began with a stubby pencil on the first available scrap of paper, which is how a natural poet, existing in the real world, has to do it. The inspiration comes before the gathering of songwriting tools.This is healing music. Eric Bruton heals. He does so through the magic of accessibility. What he heals is the listener's perspective. Blue becomes blue again; the fruits connect again to the roots, and the nourishment comes from the ground and makes everything sweeter.It is humbling to attempt to describe something so direct and simple, for the reviewer's tools are nowhere near as good as Mr. Bruton's.He's easy to find online. Have a look and a listen. It'll do you a real world of good. - Internet


Discography

All of the following are available on line at: http://pelican.capefearnet.net/Catalogue.

In 2001 - Released "Ocracoke Sessions." This is a compilation of songs about living and working on the water.

In 2002 - Released "Above High Tide." This is compilation of songs about living in coastal Carolina.

June 1, 2006 - Released "Unconditional." This is Eric's first compilation of original songs about romance.

At this time Eric is writing a group of songs dedicated to his love of the heartland. Look for this new CD in mid 2008.

Photos

Bio

Eric's musical roots are firmly planted in the sandy soil of eastern North Carolina. He is a former Merchant Marine captain who has worked Tugs, Cruise Ships and Sailing Vessels.

At age 15 he could not afford a guitar and the desire to learn was strong. A neighbor kid had a guitar that he could not play so he let Eric borrow it for a month. When all the other fellows were learning "Under The Boardwalk" he was teaching himself to play "Tom Dooley" and "MTA." Musical influences in his life are Tom Rush, The Kingston Trio, Peter Paul and Mary, John Prine, The Limelighters, Woody Guthrie, Towns VanZant, and a blind street performer in Palataka, Fla.
He is one of nthe most talented singer songwriters attempting to document the working lives of fishermen, farmers, tug crewmen, and all whose lives may seem unglamorous. Even in these modern times, civilization rests squarely on the shoulders of those who toil. His are love songs for those who ache, sweat, and long to be with their family.

Festival Performances

Eric performed 65 shows in 2005 and is currently booked for more than 70 solo and duo performances in 2006. Fourty five performances are scheduled for 2007. In 2005 he played the Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival sponsored by the South Carolina State Parks at Huntington Beach State Park. He has been invited back again this year to perform his folky / Americana style and will be a featured artist on that stage at various times for all three days.

Past festival performances include: NC 4th of July Celebration at Southport (2003), Swansboro By The SeasFestival (2003), Mullett Festival - Swansboro, NC (2003), Peanut Festival - Dublin, NC (2004), Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival - Hunting Beach State Park, SC (2005, 2006).