Bruce Engler has been playing guitar since he first fashioned one out of a coffee can and some scrap wood at the age of 7. Some folks dabble in guitar. Many musicians use the instrument as means to an end, a tool for songwriting. And then there are the true believers. Bruce falls firmly in the latter column. His list of influences includes; Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Duane Allman and Jeff Beck. For decades, he has been living and breathing Blues-fueled Rock & Roll guitar. And he’s got the chops to prove it.
With forty years of experience under his belt, the New Jersey native has an impressive list of past collaborators. He has played in dozens of bands in that time and he has fronted his own group as well. His albums have featured members of Paul McCartney’s Wings (drummer, Steve Holley) and “All the Young Dudes” singer Ian Hunter’s bass player (Paul Page). Bruce has appeared indirectly here on The Static Dive before, as a member of Robert Allen’s Downtown Mystic. Now, with the release of his new solo album he is stepping into the spotlight on his own.
“The Landing” is Bruce Engler’s new solo album, released to all major streaming services on November 10, 2020. The record is the artist’s third full length set, but his first in 7 years. Born as a result of and response to the disastrous year which we all just endured, on the ten song collection Engler digs deep to find meaning in the chaos of 2020. He looks within himself to find questions and answers, and he offers his lessons learned with all who will listen.
In both style and substance the record is inspired by the history which has influenced Bruce Engler’s style from the beginning. The great tradition of singer/songwriter Rock & Roll from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s informs every part of his sound. From the pleads for sanity to save the world for our children (“Not You & Me,” “I Don’t Know”) to thoughtful examinations on the importance of being present and living in the present (“One,” “Now is the Time”), Bruce took a look at 2020 and found that what we need is a return to common sense, decency and the mindset of the hippie social philosophers of the past.
Musically too, Engler takes his cues from past legends. Whether he is exploring the introspective mellow Folk/Rock of the title track, or banging out the upbeat Pop/Rock of “Get It Right,” he pairs a classic singer/songwriter vibe with smooth melodies and searing blues guitar leads. His playing is impeccable throughout. He guides us through the album with crafty Knopfler-esque electric rhythm guitar, beautifully melodic acoustic guitar pieces (“Calling”) and a perfect mix of control and abandon in his lead playing. “Now is the Time” features some ripping Blues leads. “The Secret Within” is 2:11 of smooth and tasteful Blues. From beginning to end, it is a great record featuring some excellent performances and smart, thoughtful songwriting.
Check out the video for “Now’s the Time,” below. You can also hear the song on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. Follow the links below the video to connect with Bruce Engler and check out the entire album, “The Landing.”