Whether hes breaking your heart with Miranda Lamberts Tin Man, nailing a country classic by Keith Whitley, or rocking the stage with a 38 Special or Guns N Roses tune, Bruce Smelley is more than just your run of the mill 20-something with a guitar. This natural born talent may have a look that could fill an arena, but he has a voice to match and a heart that is purely downhome and utterly charming.
He learned to play the drums at the age of 9, and took a class to learn to play guitar while at Satsuma High School. There, Smelley said he played in a band that now seems incredibly uncharacteristic of his style. A lot of people might not know this, but I used to be in a metal band. I played drums and became the lead vocalist, if you can call the screaming we did that, and I lived that life .skinny jeans, tank tops, and all, he laughed.
But Smelley said it was his time in the metal band that helped him develop his stage presence. When you front that kind of band, you have to really sell the performance. I learned pretty quickly how to connect with my audience on a deeper level, and that has carried over into my adult music career, he said.
It didnt take very long for me to start making the rounds in the Mobile area, and a friend of mine and fellow musician Zach Diedrich introduced me to Brandon Parnell of the Flora-Bama. Once I started playing there, I was making music my one and only career focus. Its a blessing as an artist to be able to support yourself on your craft, said Smelley.
The self-proclaimed animal lover and former volunteer firefighter is outgoing, passionate, and a natural born entertainer. Hes easy on the eyes and just as easy on the ears, so its easy to see why hes become one of the areas favorite local acts. And while he says he is serious and driven when it comes to his career, Smelley said he always has time for fun.
I consider myself adventurous and humorous. I love making people laugh and can sometimes lack a bit of a filter, but at least people always know where they stand with me. You never have to wonder if Im being real, because I think Im incapable of being anything else but just me.