Growing up in a record store in Ft Worth, Texas owned by his jazz drumming father was just the beginning for a singer- songwriter and actor Stephen Bruton.
Stephen’s father, Sumter Bruton was a highly regarded jazz musician from New Jersey. He would often tell Stephen, “If you are going to listen to music, listen to the best music.”
In my own personal reflection, this statement by Bruton’s father is a reminder of what my own Dad is always telling me.
“As long as you are dreaming, dream big“Jerry Wayne “Fathead” Watson
Bruton would spend his teen years recording tracks in a makeshift home studio with musician T- Bone Burnett. He and pals like Lubbock musician Delbert McClinton would pick bluegrass by day and then soak up those soul grinding blues rifts by night on the “other side of town”.
The local clubs in Ft Worth at that time were highlighting guys like Freddie King . King’s power house voice along with a distinct guitar style soon inspired many musicians.
Stephen would soon set his sails East to Woodstock. By chance , while on his way to a gig in Manhattan he’d run into old friend Kris Kristofferson. He was offered the guitar gig in the rising stars band , launching two decades of roadwork with Kris.
Stephen would also tour with Bonnie Raitt, Christine McVie, and others.
As a studio artist, He would record with Raitt, Delbert McClinton, the Wallflowers, Ray Wiley Hubbard and too many more to list.
Stephen Bruton was inducted into the Texas Heritage song writers Hall of Fame.
Through Bruton’s long association with Kris Kristofferson, he took up acting. Appearing in films “A star is born”, “Heaven’s Gate”, and “Miss Congeniality”. He appeared alongside Kris in the movie “Convoy”. Stephen would appear on TV in a mini series titled “Amerika” and on the series, “Matlock.”
Stephen Bruton co-wrote many of the songs from the soundtrack of the movie “Crazy Heart”. He consulted Jeff Bridges and was a guitar teacher to him on the set.
Sadly , Stephen Bruton lost his battle to cancer shortly after the movie was made. “Crazy Heart”, was dedicated to this Ft Worth artists life and influential music.
My little brother turned me onto the song “Fallin’ & Flyin’ ” , not long after I sobered up. I believe the song paints a perfect picture of the insanity my life had become because of my addictions.
It’s funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’
For a little while
Funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’
For a little while
Song by Colin Farrell and Jeff Brides
Songwriters:Gary Nicholson / Stephen Bruton