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Motherhood mellows singer’s style

By Marianne Paluso

Contributor

Between promoting her latest CD, “Somewhere in the Middle” (available at Warwick’s and on iTunes), performing local shows, working on new material, and being mom to a 4-year-old son, Christy Bruneau took time to talk.

The singer/songwriter discussed everything from motherhood to her dream tour-mate.

Although she lives in La Jolla, Bruneau said she did not move to San Diego until 1995. Born and raised in Arizona, she attended Arizona State University for a while, “trying to discover what I was passionate about.” She landed in San Diego because she wanted to be near the ocean.

“Having lived here for 15 years now, I will never leave,” she said. “La Jolla has a tremendous sense of community. That’s what I love. The people of La Jolla are so friendly. My son goes to a wonderful school, and my husband, Drew, who was born in La Jolla, is part of the surfing community.”

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Bruneau said her favorite place to perform is Java Joe’s in Oceanside because it holds a special place in her heart: It was the first place she performed to launch her career.

Intimate coffeehouses match her musical style, which she describes as “storyteller Americana.” She said, depending on the song, she likes to use varied instruments — from guitar to mandolin to the accordion. Her first CD, “Angels of Mercy,” was recorded in 2002.

Although Bruneau said she performs less than she once did, she would consider touring other parts of the country, particularly the country music heartland. But it would have to be in the summer months as she continues her “other job” as a middle school teacher. Bruneau received her teaching credential from San Diego State University in 2000.

Who inspires her work as an artist?

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“I admire musicians who stay true to themselves,” she said. “Like local musicians Gregory Page and Catherine Beeks, who are really wonderful. I’m also inspired by Viktor Frankl, the Holocaust survivor, and people who want to bring peace to the world.”

Without hesitation, she said she her favorite singer is Ben Harper. “Yeah, it’s my dream to go on tour with Ben Harper,” she laughed.

“Who’s on my iPod? Neil Young; Linda Ronstadt; Damien Rice; Buffalo Springfield (my son’s current favorite); Jason Mraz, I love his new CD; Folding Mr. Lincoln; Patti Griffin; Ben Harper, of course; Willie Nelson; and Miranda Lambert. She’s fantastic.”

Coming off a five-year break from performing to focus on being a parent, Bruneau said motherhood is treating her well and certainly influences her music.

“Being a mom, well it’s the most I’ve ever learned about myself,” she said. “I’ve learned how to be patient, about balance, how to say no. I also learned how naive I was. There are just certain things you don’t know until you’re a parent.”

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