Survival, celebration, justice and adventure are the big ideas that drive the music of John Bruce. Grown out of Modesto, California's independent music community, Bruce's songs have spanned the genres of punk rock, pop, and post-grunge to Americana, folk, and electronic roots. With close to home influences like Grandaddy and Willy Tea Taylor, Bruce has kept his own version of the Central Valley aesthetic and ethos at the heart of his craft, captured in his 2005 full length release titled "Staying the Night in Clearwater." The album, engineered by Lucky Lew (Grandaddy, Built Like Alaska), chronicles Bruce's experience living in and departing from the Central Valley in his early adulthood.
Bruce's 2019 single release "Hetch Hetchy" is a collaboration with Braden Hamilton and Ryan Wolfgram of his first band, Hetch Hetchy, which came to an untimely end after the death of Anthony Forakis, one of its founding members, in 2004. The band's story is commemorated at hetchetchy.weebly.com. "Roscoe," which was released for the first time in 2020, is a tribute to war veterans who return home misunderstood by their civilian countrymen. The song was performed by the band Redwood Fur in the late 2000s, and its release as a single is thanks again to collaboration with Lucky Lew.
In 2020, Bruce's song writing was featured by song writer and recording artist, Drew Monson. The cover of "We Only Walk This Long Road Once" was released as a single.