Hal Bruni is a born songwriter. To hear him tell it, “I’ve been writing songs for as long as I can remember and I don’t even know why. It’s just something I’ve always done.”
Born and raised in the swamps of Louisiana, Hal had a restless spirit from an early age and cut his musical teeth as a travelling troubadour on the dusty back roads of the Southeast. Matter of fact, if you have spent any time in a smoky honky tonk, at an SEC frat party, in a biker club or around a fire at a hunting camp, chances are you have probably heard Hal Bruni play a few of his unforgettable tunes.
As fate would have it, Hal wound up in Tuscaloosa, AL in the late 80’s and became a musical staple around the University of Alabama. In 1990, Hal released his first independent album, No Turning Back, which featured ten original songs and produced several local hits.
In 1991, Hal met and formed a life-long friendship with Outlaw Country legend Wayne Mills. Hal and Wayne formed an acoustic duo and later founded the band 90 Proof together. Wayne often credited Hal with teaching him to play the guitar, although Hal says “Hell, we taught each other. If I ever did anything for Wayne, it was showing him what I knew at the time, which wasn’t much, and I encouraged him to write his own stuff.” Hal and Wayne wrote several songs together over the years and together with their friend, Bubba Thurman, wrote the song “Superfriend”, which Wayne featured on his “Under the Influence of Outlaws and Mama” CD. Hal and Wayne remained very close until Wayne’s senseless murder in November of 2013.
Hal moved to Nashville in 1992 to pursue songwriting and in 1996 was signed to the Muscle Shoals area based Night Town Records. Hal formed the band Hal Bruni and the High Rollers and in 1998 released the “Tales from the Gypsy” record. Along with the High Rollers, Hal hit the road to promote the record and became a regular on the SEC College and Southeast club circuit. After years of disputes over creative control and lack of support for the “Tales from the Gypsy” record, Hal’s affiliation with Night Town Records ended in 2000.
Hal moved back home to Morgan City, LA to start a family in 2001 and moved the band’s home base to New Orleans. Hal and the band began working on what was to become the “Blue Collar Town” CD in 2003. Tragedy struck in early 2004 when Hal and his wife, Robyn, lost their first child, Jacob, at five months old to what was deemed SIDS. The following year, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and devastated the studio where the band was working, destroying all but a handful of unfinished tracks from their recording. Hal and Robyn moved back to the Nashville area in 2005.
The High Rollers disbanded after Katrina for a time while Hal pursued a career in the oil and gas industry, as a more stable means of financially supporting his family. Hal has worked as a general laborer, a NDE technician and a welding inspector in the shipyards along the gulf coast, the refineries throughout the mid-west and the United Kingdom, and on the West Coast of Africa. Hal Bruni and the Highrollers toured again in 2007 and 2008.
In 2008, Hal moved back to Morgan City in order to raise his family in his hometown, all the while writing songs and playing his performing songwriter acoustic shows. In 2010, Hal formed Dasahit Publishing and Productions, LLC. He began working with one of South Louisiana’s most prolific producer’s, Pershing Wells, in 2012 at Digital Sac-a-lait Studios in Houma, LA and in 2013 released the long awaited “Blue Collar Town” CD on Yeah You Right Records, of which Hal is the President. “I felt like I had some unfinished business to attend to. There were a lot of, what I felt, were good songs that I had not had a chance to cut, and are a real part of who I am, that I wanted to get out there. We decided to mix those with a couple of new tunes I had written. Pershing was wonderful to work with and I think we found a great balance for this record. It feels great to have worked so hard all these years and finally have a record I can really be proud of. The new CD has produced some local hits, so far, and we are working hard to get it out there and on as many radio and internet stations as possible.”
“I am getting a chance to do things now, that a few short years ago seemed unattainable to most folks. I’m living proof that faith, hard work and surrounding yourself with good people are the keys to success in whatever you set mind to. I am just thankful to still have the chance to make music and connect to people with the songs that I write. As an artist, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Hal formed the Hal Bruni Band in 2013 and is the co-creator and co-star of the new outdoor variety television series “Dat’s the Life” which is currently in post-production. The next CD release from Hal Bruni is scheduled to begin production in the summer of 2014.