After fronting Sweet Comfort Band in the 70s and 80s, lead singer and keyboardist Bryan Duncan brought his signature voice to a highly successful solo career. Over the last 30 years, he’s released 22 albums, had more than a dozen # 1 singles, and sold over 1 million records. Often honored, he’s won multiple Gospel Music Association Dove awards, received six nominations for Vocalist of the Year in Contemporary Christian Music, Inspirational Album of the Year, and received a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kevin Belmonte interviewed Bryan for this “Friday with Friends.”
Kevin Belmonte: What/who/where are your consistent sources of inspiration?
Bryan Duncan: I read Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest every day. I also read Bob Gass’ Word For Today daily. But this year I’ve found the wonderful application on iPad called You Version, where you can trace all scripture in almost any translation. I’ve been using it for my volume two book of Five Second Devotions.
End of the day, Jesus is my number one inspiration for all things! That said I apply his words to a voracious number of movies: lately The Words, Zero Dark Thirty, and Argo.
Books: lately it’s mostly Ken Follett’s works Pillars of The Earth and Fall of Giants.
And then there are comedian diatribes: Ron White, Kat Williams, Lewis Black, Dennis Miller, and Chris Rock.
I follow edgy scripts in TV series, like the late House, (my favorite place for theological debate on TV), now tryin’ to find another great script write—Elementary has been my best find. I love quick-witted comebacks in any genre. Big Bang Theory has been interesting.
Musically I think in terms of “timeless” recordings—artists that don’t date themselves with the latest technologies too much. That would include John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Bonnie Raitt, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Nora Jones, Leona Lewis, Eric Clapton and a host of new artists who are not recognizable to the general public—like Mississippi boxer turned songwriter Paul Thorn—and new local Christian singer named Moriah Peters.
It might sound odd, but I also listen to the 50 shows I’ve recorded on www.radiorehab.com. It’s my own script, but recovery themes are a constant reminder to me to overcome my own distractions, and find the highest purpose for living everyday.
KB: What artists (musicians, poets, painters, photographers, filmmakers, etc) have shaped your journey as an artist?
BD: Oops, I over answered your first question!
I’ve done songs and music for TV and movies—none too successful. I’m on the outside of filmmakers’ familiarity, but really impressed with Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt Locker. Stunningly realistic.
But then there’s anything by Ron Howard, or Steven Spielberg, and Mel Gibson’s Braveheart is still one of my all time favorites. I like Jerry Bruckheimer too. I wrote a piece for a show that went three episodes and out called Modern Men.
Sorry I’m not as familiar with modern day poets. I still read Ralph Waldo Emerson but I’m open. Painters too, I’m in the dark there as well. But how could you not notice the late David Winter’s work (painter of light) before he was commercialized to the sickening hilt. I’ve probably stood longer in front of Van Gogh’s work than any other.
Photographers? I still like Ansel Adams.
KB: How can readers of All Nine get involved in what you’re doing? (basically, how can someone buy your albums, download interviews, learn more about your music, etc)
BD: Find everything about me from www.sogoodforthesoul.com —new music—14 songs on my new album, Conversations.
I’ve also got 3 books out—
Spoke to God…He Said
with 8 books waiting in the wings—
Spoke to God, Vol. Two: The Advanced Five-Second Devotional
I see You Moments
New Rules for Old Men
Pocket Guide for the Panic Stricken
Favorite Friend Quips
The Book of Duncalations
Did you Ever?
I follow Jesus Because