The two countries with the most developed country music industries are the United States and Australia. Nashville in Tennessee, USA is the home of the CMA Country Music Festival, the largest of its kind in the world. The second largest is found in Tamworth in New South Wales, Australia, host of the CMAA Country Music Festival. Between the two of them, these events every year attract around 1,200 musicians who perform for about 400,000 people coming from countries around the world.

Contrast that with Aubrey, a small city in Texas, USA with a land area of a little bit more than 5 square kilometers and a population of 1,500. A service station across the street from a chapel serves as the city's social centre. Aubrey is where Doug Bruce grew up to make his mark on the two largest country music festivals in the world. Music was part of growing up. Doug's father, Dale, is a bass guitar player who went on tours with country music legends, including one to Australia in the 70's. Doug's uncle, Buddy, wrote songs for other country music icons and was an inspiration for Doug to pursue a music career.

Starting as a drummer with bands in the North Texas area, Bruce joined the band Cheyenne which won the 2000 People's Choice Award of the Terry Awards, incidentally a brainchild of erstwhile country drummer Terry Beene. In that year, and the next, Bruce was nominated for the Drummer of the Year award. When Cheyenne broke up in 2001, he moved to Nashville and continued playing as drummer for various bands. A big bonus of his Nashville job was running into an Australian lady who eventually became his wife. The courtship had its own side benefit. Bruce fell in love with Australia and its people, so much so that after the couple's first child was born, the family moved to Bendigo in Victoria, Australia where they now live.

Playing the drums or singing front of stage, Bruce began to make a name for himself in the Australian music scene. His first extended-play CD as a singer/songwriter “Brand New Memory” released in 2006 was well-received, and continues to enjoy radio time. He co-wrote the album “Somewhere Between the Truth and Goodbye” which was released in 2008, winning several awards from the Victorian National & Country Music Awards at the Whittlesea Country Music Festival. In the same year, he formed his own band The Tailgaters.

His first full album “All I Need” won for Bruce the 2009 Best Male Vocalist award at the Tamworth Independent Artists Recognition Awards, the Best Contemporary Song from the TSA National Song writing Competition Award, and the awards for Victorian Male Vocalist, Victorian Album of the Year and Best Independent Release.

His follow-up work in 2010 “A Good Place” brought him the Victorian Album of the Year, Victorian Male Vocalist of the Year and Best Traditional Country Song awards. With their much-applauded performances at the 2011 Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Check out the ItsCountry Gig guide to see where Doug is playing near you or visit his website doug bruce