By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — A local musician has collaborated with members of Blue Oyster Cult, The Who, and Chicago for his first solo release.
The Lizardz bassist Jamie Bruhn has put together an original solo album with guest appearances from over a dozen well-known and local area musicians. Bruhn co-produced the album, self-titled “Jamie Bruhn: Cigarettes & Lies”, with Lizardz drummer Travis Plantico. According to Bruhn, the album spawned out of his own writings while working on a side project with the Dukes of 1987.
“I was working with Jerry King on the Cloud Over Jupiter project and I started writing some songs that didn’t fit,” said Bruhn. “So I said ‘maybe I’ll just put together my own solo project together’ — The Lizards just put out an album in 2013, so it was a matter of timing, and it all came together.”
Bruhn started work on the pop-rock album in 2014, and has quite the impressive list of friends for work on the release. Guest artists include founding member of the Blue Oyster Cult Joe Bouchard, Richie Castellano of BCO, The Who keyboardist John Bundrick, and former Chicago guitarist Chris Pinnick.
“A lot of the musicians mingle, and we work in each other’s studios — and in fact The Commissioners just put out an original album last year and wrapping up their follow up this year. Along with Cloud Over Jupiter with Jerry King, there’s a ton of original material in Rapids that is almost underground, but yet it’s reaching international recognition.”
Bruhn reached out to many local musicians to contribute to the album. Some recognizable names include Alexis Walton from Hyde, Connie Tomski from The aTOMix, and many other local talents. According to Bruhn, the relationships are fluid, where musicians will help each other out and carry an I’ll play on your record if you play on mine mentality.
“The Blue Oyster Cult connection goes a long way with The Lizardz,” said Bruhn. “So when I started working on this I just reached out to Richie and Joe and said ‘hey, I got a song I need a lead guitar on’ — and they were hands in the air; ‘absolutely, we’d love to help’.”
“Cigarettes & Lies” carries many influences from Bruhn, himself, especially in the writing.
“When I write material, I write it based on the mood I’m in and what I’m used to growing up,” said Bruhn. “I’m going to be 43, so the 70s, late 80s — that catchy hook you hear on the radio, that’s how I wrote these songs. Something with three-and-a-half to four minutes with few exceptions that you could play on the radio.”
To purchase your own copy of “Cigarettes & Lies” check out https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jamiebruhn