John Fullbright and Bruce Robison 

Set for a series of statewide shows this spring, John Fullbright and Bruce Robison are pairing up under the latter’s Next Waltz banner and taking the part record label, part multi-media project, and part artist management team’s vision of artistic integrity and value of ambitious and authentic music on the road for an April Texas tour – lovingly called ‘The Next Waltz Barnstorming.’

Oklahoma based John Fullbright is a GRAMMY-nominated songwriter finding refuge in playing the piano whose latest release – 2022’s The Liar – is an exploration of the highs and lows of emotion, the good times and the aftermath. Fullbright has also received an Americana Music Association Emerging Artist nomination and awards from ASCAP and the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

In regard to the Lone Star State’s finest tunesmiths, Bruce Robison lands at the top of the heap. His songwriting turned the heads of some of the industry’s biggest artists and took them to the top of the charts (The Chicks’ No. 1 version of “Travelin’ Soldier,” George Strait’s recording of “Wrapped” and the beautiful Tim McGraw / Faith Hill rendition of “Angry All The Time,” to name a few). While those achievements might be considered the pinnacle of a songwriting career to some, Robison has never been one to rest on his laurels. He is always creating.

In 2016, Bruce turned his focus toward his other passion project, The Next Waltz, a “virtual social house” of music, videos and interviews spotlighting the artists and songs that make up the pedigree of this generation’s cream of the crop. In his studio – The Bunker – located just outside of Austin, Robison hosts and records an evolving array of artists who share in his commitment to continue the tradition of collaborative creativity. Everything in Bruce’s studio is recorded on analog tape “with no digital shenanigans – just like back when music was good.” With a list of musician credits that could easily be mistaken for a hall-of-fame roll call, Robison delivers a truly organic listening experience that includes “happy accidents and all kinds of things that just feel real.”

“Some people think Willis Alan Ramsey’s first — and only — record is one of the greatest singer-songwriter albums ever. I am one of those people,” says Bruce Robison, himself an esteemed singer-songwriter who’s had his share of hits with songs covered by the Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw and George Strait, to name a few. Robison managed to coax Ramsey to the Bunker, the all-analog recording studio in Lockhart, Texas, where Robison records his favorite legends and up-and-comers and conducts artist-to-artist interviews for The Next Waltz, his record label, multi-platform media project and “place for like-minded musicians to gather in celebration of this incredible culture of music we have here in Texas.”

 

They laid down a version of “Mockingbird Blues,” a song from Ramsey’s fabled second album, that sounded so good, they decided it deserved some special treatment. Which we’ll explain in a minute (or, as Ramsey might say, soon). But first, back to Robison.

“When I became friends with Willis, it was hard to keep my cool, though he is a very humble and unassuming man,” Robison explains. “It was incredible when he agreed to come out to my studio to play some music and chat.” They got on so well, Ramsey decided to do some overdubs for that still-upcoming album. Then they did “Mockingbird Blues,” and agreed they needed to show it off. So they did an animated video. And realized it was time to go live. Robison hatched a plan.

“I asked two of the most talented singer songwriters — who are also crack musicians — and my top choices immediately agreed. Carrie Rodriguez and John Fullbright complete this murderers’ row of talent going onstage together for four shows in four Texas cities.”

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Among the Lone Star State’s finest tunesmiths, Bruce Robison has a knack for crafting deceptively straightforward songs around the universal struggles of modern life. His songs have a unique and significant personal touch, whether performed by someone else or himself. With many successes under his belt such as the Dixie Chicks No. 1 hit version of “Travelin Soldier”, George Strait’s “Wrapped”, and “Angry All The Time” with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Bruce is a master at luring the audience into a vulnerable, captivating emotional core.

Bruce has been calling his music simply “country” for the past 25 years whether pop best replica watches culture and media has deemed Willie Nelson or Florida Georgia Line the next greatest thing. His philosophy has always been to let the music speak for itself, and his projects are all informed by bringing it back to basics in this labor of love.

His songwriting philosophy is also readily apparent in his latest business venture, The Next Waltz. An oasis from the barrage of modern media, The Next Waltz experience is akin to a pre-technology era of sitting on a front porch talking and hanging with a great group of people. Like the acclaimed Food Network show Chopped, the artists get a secret basket of ingredients (great song, great studio, great band) and have to make something beautiful with what they’ve got because there aren’t any digital safety nets to fix any mistakes or falsely make anything better than what it really is. The last line of defense against major publication agendas and the cultural mass of pop music, this artisan studio guarantees that if you put their songs in your iPod, you won’t be sad when they come up.

“[‘Traveling Soldier’] really is a mini-movie, and Robison’s visual lyrics still bring tears to the eyes of a lot of listeners with this song.” – American Songwriter

“…in a couple decades of watching his gradual rise from an Austin nightclub and dancehall upstart to the likely future dean of Texas songwriters… [Robison]’s not content to simply coast on the coattails of past accomplishments. The creative spark still burns in him.” – No Depression

“Bruce Robison is a prime example… [of] keeping the spirit of the traditional Texas troubadour alive.” -Paste Magazine