Details on the life and background of legendary Big Medicine Head multi-instrumentalist Bruce Rockwell have been hidden from the public for many years. Where did Bruce Rockwell come from? Why is he referred to within Big Medicine Head as "Maestro"? How can his cross-genre virtuosity be explained? How is it that a man capable of articulating the American experience through the beer-drenched sandpaper twang and distortion of a Fender Stratocaster can be equally adept at tugging the heart strings through the lonesome peatbog wail of a penny-whistle?
The answers to these questions may be found in documents ranging from the prisoner logs of an East German gulag to manifests of merchant ships and immigrant rolls at Ellis Island. What is known for certain is that as a young man, Maestro Rockwell had no formal education. He was raised in a camp from the age of 2 to be exactly what he is: a fully realized prodigy capable of carrying 64 piece orchestra arrangements in his head, crafting opera on a xylophone, and extracting exquisite notes from a Stradivarious violin or an end table in a suburban living room. At the 2007 Lichtenstein Folk Festival Bruce took first prize over a singing troup from Bavaria in the Four Part Harmony category. Bruce was performing solo.
Stay tuned for more details in the next installment of "The Life and TImes of Bruce Rockwell"...