A career songwriter/recording artist residing in British Columbia, Bruce Coughlan is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, composer & lead singer of Tillers Folly
As principal songwriter, vocalist and founding member of Tillers Folly, Bruce is the musical heart of the band. His songwriting is a product of the nearly 40 years which have elapsed since, as a young teen, he left home with no more than a guitar and a profound love of traditional music. From the street corners of his native Vancouver, to festival and concert stages across the globe, this colorful journey is captured in the warmth and depth of the songs he shares.
Evolving from a traditional background in Irish and Scottish music, through a mishmash of Rock, Pop, Rhythm, Blues & Country Music influences, into more unlikely passions as Latin, Calypso and Reggae, Bruce’s influences have always remained primarily acoustic.
Tillers began over a decade and a half ago out of a notion of preserving and promoting Pacific Northwest history in song. A mandate which eventually led to Stirring Up Ghosts, a performance/multimedia production developed through hundreds upon hundreds of educational shows. Among the dozens of historically based songs Bruce has written, many have been composed under commission. Many may be found among the band’s eight albums.
In addition to guitar, Bruce has (over the years) augmented the Tillers’ sound with various attempts on tenor banjo, harmonica, bodhran, wood flute and whistles, composing and performing jigs, reels, airs & hornpipes.
Of late, Bruce’s songwriting within and without the band has flourished into a formidable craft. He has been writing with many of the greatest talents in acoustic music today with songs being recorded by a number acts. He’s also been invited in as a lyricist at large on a few promising projects.
Bruce is a multifaceted talent who will undoubtedly be soon recognized as a great Canadian songwriter.
Selected Highlights (along with Tillers Folly):
- 2011 released single “Death and Taxes” featuring guest vocalist’s John Cowan (Doobie Brothers) and Josh Shilling (Mountain Heart).
- 2011 Showcased at IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Nashville, performing songs from new CD ‘Go The Road’ with award winning musicians and singers from the CD.
- 2010/2011 Tillers Folly’s music heavily featured throughout new Global (Canada) and PBS (US) T.V. show’s West Coast Escapes and The Aviators
- 2010 Tiller’s Folly and special guests The Vancouver Police Pipe Band record new song commissioned by the Village of Kinlochbervie, Scotland, to commemorate local hero, Robert McBeath VC.
- 2009 Worked with John Lovelace on music for his Cross Canada Century Flight documentary. Over Northern Skies as the main theme song.
- 2009 Just Plain Folks awards CD A River So Wide including track Things I Haven’t Done nominated as Top CD and song New Folk Category
- 2008 CD Release Stirring Up Ghosts celebrates BC 150 and includes commissioned works
- 2008 performance in Ottawa on Canada Day, representing BC, (250,000+ audience)
- ‘Water at the Bar’ voted the Top 5 Celtic Song of 2006 by Just Plain Folks
- ‘McCulloch’s Wonder’ listed in the Essential 75 songs of Canadian Folk by iTunes Canada
- ‘Ceilidh by the Spey’ declared the official theme song of Scotland’s Speyfest
- The live concert DVD, “A Fine Kettle of Fish,” was featured on the Knowledge Network in ’06.
- “A Ripple in Time” picked as the top CD by the Indie Acoustic Project in 2003.
It is the common place things that occur almost unnoticed which Coughlan brings to conscious thought that makes us appreciate the beauty that we might have otherwise missed. – Nancy Vivolo of Victory Review