Bobby began his professional recording career in Nashville, 1967, with Monument and Nugget Records. In 1970, Bridger signed with RCA Records and recorded two albums of original material (Merging of Our Minds, and And I Wanted to Sing for the People) before parting ways in 1973. Bridger launched his own Golden Egg Records in 1980 and released Heal in the Wisdom (1981), the four-disc boxed set, A Ballad of the West (2000), Songs from A Ballad of the West (2003), and Bridger's seventh studio album and current release, Vagabond Heart (2015).
Bridger has performed twice on PBS's Austin City Limits, on PBS's award-winning American Experience, twice on C-Span/Booknotes, CNN, ABC/Good Morning America, A&E Networks, NPR, and the Australian Broadcasting Company. Bridger's songs have been recorded by a diverse range of artists from pop (Bobby Goldboro) to country (Claude Gray), even to rock (The Lost Gonzo Band). His song, Heal in the Wisdom, has been the official anthem of the Kerrville Folk Festival since 1979.
A Ballad of the West, Bridger's trilogy of historical epic ballads, has been highly-acclaimed by renowned screenwriters and playwrights, western American historians, organizations, universities and institutions since its debut in the early 1970s. Bridger was the very first artist-in-residence at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming and the John G. Neihardt Center in Nebraska, and at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. His 1990 theatrical company was the first professional theater troupe to ever tour Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The production was invited to return for an encore in 1991. He also remains the only ever "Balladeer-in-Residence" at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut.
Bridger toured internationally from 1975-2011 performing A Ballad of the West as a one-man show and acting in Dale Wasserman's Shakespeare and the Indians and Christopher Sergel's stage adaptation of Black Elk Speaks. Full company productions of Bridger's Seekers of the Fleece ran from 1988-1994 in Cody, Wyoming. Bridger continues to perform his ballad Lakota but has retired live performances of ballads Seekers of the Fleece and Pahaska.
Bridger is the author of A Ballad of the West, the award-winning Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull: Inventing the Wild West, Bridger (autobiography), and Where the Tall Grass Grow: Becoming Indigenous and the Mythological Legacy of the American West. He resides in Houston, TX, with his wife Melissa and son Gabriel.
GABRIEL BRIDGER DURHAM
Gabe was practically born on stage as his mother was working as an actor and dancer in A Ballad of the West until her eighth month of pregnancy. So from infancy, Gabe has been in show business in one form or another. At the tender age of four, Gabriel completed his first major road tour living in the back of a pickup as he and Bobby traveled the west touring "Ballad" without Melissa. Father and son continued touring for the next twelve summers as Gabe studied violin through elementary and middle school, often opening shows for his dad.
Gabe graduated from Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) and attended the University of Houston's Moore School of Music. But Gabriel's life-long parallel studies of the martial art, Ninjitsu, and his fascination in the Japanese culture and language led him to change his educational focus, and he is currently completing his Masters in Anthropology at the University of Houston.
Gabe has continued to sing and expand his range of musical ability on a variety of instruments including violin, mandolin, guitar and penny whistle. He even taught himself Tuvan throat-singing. He contributed most of the background vocals on Vagabond Heart and is featured in his official recording debut in duets with Bobby on Bright Wings and Stages.
As a founding member of the legendary Lost Gonzo Band, John's peers know him as one of the finest guitarists in Austin. Considering the extraordinary numbers of guitar wizards Texas has produced, this is high praise indeed. John's fans know him as the signature guitar style that has at one time or another propelled the music of Jerry Jeff Walker, Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Delbert McClinton, Jimmy LaFave, Eliza Gilkyson, Marcia Ball, Omar and the Howlers, Bruce Robison, Michael Martin Murphy and many more. As a winner of the Texas Music Awards "Producer of the Year" in 2012, John has also become a sought-after producer and is producing albums for artists nationwide. John and Bobby are the co-producers of Vagabond Heart.
Pounding like a drum inside us, burning with life's fire,
Instinctive forces push and guide us, they bring action to desire.
The rhythm opens doors to vision, inspiring us to start.
We listen to the drum of wisdom, following our heart.
-- The Cycle Song