Dan has been a musician and writer since his youth growing up in Maplewood, NJ at a time of great political upheaval and creativity. He paid his dues in many garage bands, graduating to bar bands and by the early 1980’s had created the first incarnation of The Dan Bruder Band opening up for major headliners and being mentored by some industry greats.
Throughout the early 1980’s he was regular face in Greenwich Village and on the Jersey scene at clubs like Kenny’s Castaways, The Bitter End, Folk City, The Village Gate, The Stone Pony, Club Bene, Showplace and too many other venues to remember (after all it was the 1980’s). Dan also routinely performed at college campuses throughout the Northeast. He has performed with, collaborated or opened on stage for a variety of artists including Bruce Springsteen, Nils Lofgren, Clarence Clemmons, The Smithereens, Mick Ronson, Edgar Winter, Leon Russell, Robert Gordon, Blackfoot and Sam Andrew.
By the end of the 1980’s he disappeared from the music scene except for an occasional studio project and devoted his energies to raising a family. By 2002, he returned to his creative endeavors with the release if his first book, “Glimpses From The Edge.”
In 2008, he began collaborating with Bob Kanner, an Emmy-Award winning television editor and began developing a variety of programming for web-based television. The next year, at the urging of friends and colleagues who essentially described much of his life as a comedy, he decided to put pen to paper and begin writing “Who the Hell is Dan Bruder”.
The concept was very simple. It is a fictional rock-comedy web-series about a middle-aged wannabe rocker who can’t let go of the dream of success. It was a satirical, self-deprecating version of Dan’s life story and turned out to be the story of millions of other dads, uncles, neighbors, co-workers and the women in their lives.
“We hit on something that really resonated with legions of people and ran with it,” explains Dan.
In 2010, he assembled a cast of talented actors and musicians including Liberty Devitto (Billy Joel), John Ginty (Dixie Chicks, Robert Randolph), Devon Allman (Allman Betts Band), Muddy Shews (Southside Johnny) and Lorenza Ponce (Bon Jovi) to act in the show.
Dan opted to keep the first release of episodes online with with Relix.com and eventually realized that keeping the show as a web-series was the best direction for the project. This allowed the episodes to be viewed by their audience of 14 million a month. Out of that success came sponsorships from Gibson Guitar and Guitar Center that helped fuel the project to the next level.
Blending fiction with reality, out of the initial production in 2010 came the real-life music project called The Dan Bruder Band and the album, Act of Kindness, which is a pure-bred rock album steeped in American music roots. It was produced by Dan along with legendary producer, Ben Elliot who has worked with Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Warren Haynes. The album also had major contributions from David Biglin. The album was nominated for "Best Album of the Year" in 2010 by Music Indie Digest.
The new album entitled "Evolution", was released in June 2018, is a collection of new material and songs Dan is resurrecting from the early bar band days.