Trace Bundy stretches the rules of music

(Photo by Taylor Moulton)

Internationally-acclaimed guitar virtuoso Trace Bundy uses harmonics, looping, multiple capos to create a show that is as unique as it is captivating. He’s release six albums, and he’ll be playing a lot of those songs at Boulevard Music on Saturday. He told the News about what he has in store for Culver City…

When did you start playing and performing? 

I started playing guitar when I was about 10 years old. My brother and I chipped in $5 each and bought a cheap acoustic guitar at a yard sale for 10 bucks. Later that day, we learned how to play “One“ by Metallica. That started at all. I began to write my own songs in high school, and started putting on small concerts at a little coffee shop in my town. Things started to progress through college, but I thought it would be unlikely to make a career out of it, so I continued to study engineering at the University of Colorado. After I got my Masters Degree in Civil Engineering, I was asked to teach a couple engineering classes at CU, as an adjunct professor. During that time, my music was making its way around the world via the internet, and I was getting tons of offers to perform near and far. That’s when I made the decision to go full-time with my music. That was nearly 20 years ago! 

Describe your sound…

Whenever I write a song, I’m always thinking of ways to stretch the rules of music and performance. I try to incorporate some creative and unique ideas throughout the song, while keeping a solid melody. If I succeed, the end result will be something that is engaging and inspiring to the audience, and has a melody that gets stuck in their head. Specifically, I enjoy playing using a percussive two-handed style, and love experimenting with looping, unique delay/echo patterns, multiple capos, harmonics, etc. 

What are your career highlights so far?

This music career has been quite a journey. I’ve gotten to perform all over the world, in 28 countries so far. I’ve played all over Asia and Europe, as well as shows in Africa, Australia, and Central America. I remember the first time I went to China and found 300 people waiting in the lobby of the venue, many of them carrying guitars and playing some of my songs with their friends. Pretty wild! I’ve also gotten to share the stage with some pretty incredible performers, like Brandi Carlile, Olivia Newton-John, Neko Case, Judy Collins, Phil Keaggy, Nathaniel Rateliff, Stanley Jordan, and many others. So many stories and memories. I get emotional looking back on this musical journey – I just feel so thankful. 

Do you have recorded music available?
I’ve released 6 albums and 3 DVDs over the years. I’ll be bringing many of these albums to my concert at Boulevard Music, including new gorgeous pressings of two of my albums on vinyl. 

Have you performed at Boulevard Music before? Any memories? 

I’ve played all over the greater Los Angeles area, but I’ve never played at Boulevard Music before. I’ve heard great things about it – can’t wait!

What can the audience expect from the set this time?

I’ll be performing a selection of my own songs as well as a few of my popular cover songs, while working in some stories and humor throughout the show. My goal is that all of us leave with big smiles on our faces. I can promise it will be an unforgettable night of music!

What else do you have coming up?

Lots of fun shows and travel coming up this year. I’ll be hitting up most of the major cities from the East Coast to the West Coast and in between. I’ll also be playing a couple shows in Italy in July, and possibly Hungary and China in the fall. Then I always end my year with a hometown concert in Boulder, CO, called Trace Bundy’s Acoustic Holiday. This year will be the 16th annual show, since I started officially counting. 

Trace Bundy performs at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 at Boulevard Music. Go to for more information about the show. 

Elsewhere this week

The Culver Hotel will be hosting the likes of Sylvia & the Rhythm Boys, and Scotty Bramer. Go to for more info.

There’s a full program of music at the Cinema Bar this week, as usual. The Hot Club of Los Angeles plays every Monday, and Wednesdays are singer/songwriter and open mic night. Other artists performing this week include Bruce Ray White, Ginger Merkin, Captain Danger, and more. Go to for more info.