A legend and pioneer in the Canadian tribute community, Bobby Bruce’s Nearly Neil journey began in 1994. An actor and singer from Vancouver, Bruce was anew transplant into the Toronto entertainment scene when he was convinced by an Elvis impersonator to join a local multi-tribute show. Within a year Bruce was being scouted by Las Vegas’ Legends in Concert. He joined them for a 10-month engagement in the US with appearances stretching from Nevada to Branson to Atlantic City. International engagements came calling, Bruce’s first national tour of Australia with another Legends-style show saw 60 shows in 10 weeks across the continent, earning him his moniker.
Headline: “NEARLY NEIL DIAMOND”
“Neil Diamond had better be wary he ever comes to town. Bobby Bruce is a hard act to follow. The Canadian impersonator not only mimics the great Neil Diamond to a tee but also implants some of his own pizzazz and style, a combination so clever and disarming that it brought the house down.” Samela Harris, Adelaide Advertiser, Australia 1996
Directly from Australia, the tour went on to Malaysia where Bruce had the honour of performing for the King and Queen. The Australasian connection continues today with dozens of tours visiting Borneo, Singapore as well as elite venues across Malaysia, national tours of New Zealand and annual Australian tours that have taken him to every state and territory.
Using his international touring as a launch pad, Bruce broke away from the “Legends” type shows and formed Nearly Neil and the Solitary Band in Vancouver of 1997 quickly becoming a staple in the Canadian market. The Solitary Band have embarked on national tours of the USA and Canada, repeat tours to the Cayman Islands, Holland and Belgium, performed at exclusive private events for a handful of people to outdoor public concerts to 20,000.
Over twenty-five years into his Nearly Neil journey, Bruce, now 52, lives with his wife, Leanne, off the coast of Vancouver, BC on Gambier Island in the Howe Sound. When European and Australian tours were suddenly out of the question in early 2020, they adapted to life off-the-road by starting a volunteer essential goods delivery service to ensure food security to their community during the lockdown. They were both awarded Gambier Island Citizen of the Year for their efforts.
Bobby’s brand of honest audience connection paired with an authentic and skilled homage to some of the most enduring songs of the modern era continues to appeal to international and domestic audiences alike.
Nearly Neil and the Solitary Band are Bobby Bruce (lead vocals, guitar), Dave Corman (guitar), Kyle Radomsky (drums), Sandra Lee (vocals), Craig Zurba (keys), Marlow Holder (bass).