Dix Bruce & Jim Nunally

Concerts & workshops

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Dix Bruce and Jim Nunally are award-winning acoustic guitarists. Their concerts showcase beautiful vocal harmonies (“They sound like the Everly Brothers…with a lot more nitty gritty” Flatpicking Guitar magazine) and exciting guitar playing (“…west coast virtuosos…” Acoustic Musician magazine) delivered with good humor and dazzling digital dexterity!

Both Jim and Dix come from musical families where they learned guitar: Jim from his father; Dix from his grandfather and brother. Their music is a mixture of original and traditional Americana, contemporary and historic songs, with folk and country flavors, drawn from their four CD releases: From Fathers to Sons, songs learned from their early musical heroes, The Way Things Are, compositions from Nunally, Bruce, and others, on life, love, and heartache, In My Beautiful Dream, packed with new songs written by Jim and Dix, and Brothers at Heart, their latest CD, traditional and original songs, hot and beautiful picking, in the “brother duet” style.

The duo’s performances are a trademark mixture of wit, emotion, energy, sincerity, and, of course, lots of hot guitar playing. Their enthusiasm is infectious and promotes a wonderful time for all. Jim and Dix’s music is featured on the soundtrack to the best-selling computer game “The Sims.”

Combine elements of traditional and contemporary folk, country, bluegrass, and original music, virtuoso guitar playing, and lots of down home good humor and you’ll get Bruce and Nunally. Great solo and duet singing, and songwriting, amazing guitar playing, great fun!

Jim & Dix's latest CD, “Brothers at Heart,” was nominated as the "Outstanding Country/Alt Country Album of 2004" by the California Music Awards (formerly the Bammies). Jim sez: “We’re delighted to be nominated and honored to be in the company of such great artists” as Merle Haggard and Buck Owens! Dix sez: “What a surprise! What a thrill, a highpoint of our career as a duo.”

Dix & Jim’s Concerts, Clinics, & Workshops.

Contact Dix Bruce & Jim Nunally

PO Box 231005 • Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
(510) 787-0050 • (925) 827-9311 • FAX: (925) 827-0899
e-mail: Dix&Jim@musixnow.com

Click here to hear audio samples from Dix & Jim's three CD releases:
In My Beautiful Dream, The Way Things Are, From Fathers to Sons.

Jim Nunally
Jim, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, is a musician, composer and teacher. His third generation traditional music roots began in Arkansas with his guitar-playing grandfather who taught Jim’s father, who in turn taught Jim. This pedigree contributes to his unmistakably traditional sound.

He has appeared on recording sessions with a variety of different artists and is the featured guitarist on the CBS television Peanuts special Snoopy’s Reunion in which Snoopy plays bluegrass guitar. Jim was awarded a Grammy certification for his performance on the 1996 Grammy Award winning Bluegrass album of the year “True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe.” The International Bluegrass Association also presented him with two awards for the same project. He can be heard on the soundtrack to the 1994 feature film The Beverly Hillbillies, released on RCA.

Jim writes and arranges songs in the country, bluegrass, and folk traditions he was raised with. The recent release of the duo’s new CD, The Way Things Are, showcases Nunally’s exceptional compositional talents.

Steeped in the various forms of traditional American music, Nunally brings events and emotions from his own life to song. His “Something I Don’t Want to Know” is a startling and moving song about his father and Jim’s family life growing up. “Home’s Where I Long to Be” is a beautiful song about hearth, home, and heart.
Jim is also a record producer and engineer for many of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most popular acoustic artists and he continues to work as a session musician. Through his performing and recording work with artists such as Grammy award winners Rob Ickes and Sally Van Meter, Mike Marshall, Laurie Lewis, Bela Fleck, John Reischman, Tony Furtado, Alison Brown, Tony Trischka, Bill Evans, Tom Paxton among a host of others, he has gained a reputation as one of the country’s finest acoustic guitarists. One reviewer commented that Jim has “the most beautiful guitar technique ever seen” and that his solos are “absolutely astounding.”

Dix Bruce
Dix was born and raised in the Midwest. His interests in American folk music, jazz, and original composition are blended into a unique vocal and instrumental sound. His compositions are fresh and his energetic, exuberant stage personality, along with his driving rhythm and lead work, set the tone for a warm and exciting performance.

He began playing guitar at age 12. After college, he relocated to the Bay Area where his interest in hybrid acoustic string music led him to David Grisman’s prototype quintet in the mid-1970s. Bruce eventually teamed up with the mandolinist to edit the magazine Mandolin World News from 1978 until 1984.

In 1978 Bruce formed the band Back Up & Push to play swing and jazz on acoustic stringed instruments. The band accompanied Bruce on his CD Tuxedo Blues, which features many of his original instrumental and vocal compositions.

Dix does studio work on guitar, mandolin, and banjo and has recorded with mandolin legend Frank Wakefield, the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, among others, and has released his own collection of Americana entitled My Folk Heart. He contributed two original compositions to the soundtrack of Harrod Blank’s acclaimed documentary Wild Wheels.

Five of Dix’s compositions are included in The Way Things Are. They range from the whimsical “I Get Blue” to the Carter Family-esque “Darling Will You Ever Think of Me?” to the haunting “When I Die.”

Mel Bay Publications has published over thirty of Bruce’s instructional projects, including two titles in the bestselling You Can Teach Yourself series along with Bruce’s own play-along BackUp TRAX Book / CD sets for learning everything from bluegrass and old time music, to blues and jazz. His recent works include Doc Watson & Clarence Ashley 1960-1962, a massive and comprehensive study of guitar genius Doc Watson plus two instructional videos: Basic Country Flatpicking Guitar and Basic Swing Guitar. He is currently preparing a book on the music of guitar legend Jerry Garcia.

...(Bruce is) the energy and idea man, part comedian, part story teller. His warm stage personality is apparent and so is the fact that he enjoys what he’s doing, playing the kind of music he loves.
Peter Corbett Flagstaff (Az.) Northlander

Bruce & Nunally Press Quotes & Reviews:

"West Coast virtuosos" (Acoustic Musician Magazine)

"... They sound like the Everly Brothers with a lot more nitty gritty and nice guitar playing...excellent and well-blended vocals...excellent songs...excellent players..." (Flatpicking Guitar Magazine)

"Delightful" (Larry Kelp, East Bay Express)

"Nice job! (your music is) the kind of music I m most likely to put on at home friendly accessible, sounds good!" (Peter Wernick)

"With their strong picking, tight harmony vocals, and tasteful song selection, Dix Bruce and Jim Nunally are to today’s folk and bluegrass music scene what groups like the Delmore Bros., the Monroe Bros., and the Blue Sky Boys were to the country music scene of the 1930s and 40s." (Dan Miller, publisher High View Publications)

Guitar Clinics & Music Workshops

Jim Nunally and Dix Bruce begin each workshop with demonstrations of their individual and duo styles. They then tailor each workshop to the specific interests and levels of the students including emphasis on guitar playing in ensemble situations and duet guitar playing as recorded on their CDs. The workshop is then divided into subgroups according to interest and level, for example “How to play great rhythm guitar,” “Basic guitar leads & solos,” “Guitar duets and harmonies," and “Swing Guitar.” Students are free to move from group to group. Basic musicianship and solid rhythm are stressed above all along with playing tips on improvising, solos, arranging, music theory, learning from recordings, charting your progress, and more. Sheet music with chords and tablature is provided for workshop participants.

Jim Nunally has performed and recorded with many popular bluegrass artists including Grammy Award-winning Dobroist Sally Van Meter and Grammy nominated Laurie Lewis. He records for television and motion picture sound tracks as well. Jim has taught at many prestigious guitar workshops and will bring his talents to you for this one. He will cover the essentials for great rhythm and lead guitar playing. He’ll get you acquainted with Jam Session etiquette, musicianship, tone, timing, and technique. Jim’s sincere, warm approach to teaching encourages students to progress.

Dix Bruce has performed, recorded, and taught in the San Francisco Bay Area for over twenty years in a variety of bluegrass, new acoustic, country, swing, big band, and jazz formats. He has authored over thirty instructional books, CDs, and videos for Mel Bay Publications including originating the popular BackUP TRAX play-along series for learning Old Time & Fiddle Tunes, Swing & Jazz, Traditional Jazz, and You Can Teach Yourself Country Guitar. He has taught at many music camps and workshops. Using his vast experience playing swing & jazz music, Dix has developed classes in swing guitar which include instruction in chording, rhythm, leads, and improvisation. His multi-style experience bring a depth of understanding to students and his relaxed and light teaching style allow everyone to have a good time while learning.

Past Workshop / Clinics titles have included: Basic Guitar Musicianship, Playing Guitar in a Duo, Beginning Flatpicking, Carter-Style Flatpicking Leads, Advanced Flatpicking, Traditional Vocal Harmony, Basic Swing Guitar, The Guitar Playing of Doc Watson, Blues and Swing Mandolin, and Intermediate Mandolin Repertoire.

Dix & Jim
Bio (.pdf)

Dix & Jim
Concert Poster

Dix Bruce and Jim Nunally enthusiastically use and heartily endorse D'Addario strings. Click on the logo below to find out more.
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