It’s all about a moving songwriter experience.

Get to know Nashville's only songwriter-powered bus tour.

SongBird Tours

Part tour bus and part intimate music club, SongBird brings you the stars and stories behind Music City’s famous (and not-so-famous) landmarks, plus special one-night-only performances by Nashville’s best songwriters, live on our on-board stage. In a nutshell, it’s like The Bluebird Cafe* on wheels.

SongBird Tours was founded in 2017 by Patsy Bruce and her son Trey Bruce, both acclaimed songwriters in their own right. The duo wanted to give visitors and locals alike a “songwriter’s-eye view” of Music City, highlighting the art form itself as well as the sites and stops where music history is made.

Patsy and Trey Bruce

In a unique tour bus setup, the SongBird bus features 30 seats turned to face the rear of the vehicle, where a state-of-the-art stage is home to a revolving cast of hit songwriters.

SongBird Tour Bus
Song Bird bus interior

Patsy and Trey have taken great care to design a one-of-a-kind guest experience with the best sound, lighting, and creature comforts available. On the tour, guests will hear live music, see Nashville music landmarks and interact with the host and performers in a unique songwriter experience that can only happen in Music City.

Patsy Bruce - SongBird
Patsy Bruce

Chief Executive Officer

It’s no surprise that Patsy Bruce came up with the idea to create SongBird Tours, Nashville’s first-ever bus tour that offers an intimate listening room environment and live performances from top songwriters. “I want everybody to leave Nashville knowing a songwriter; knowing their heart, their soul, where they get their ideas,” she said. After all, for Bruce, songwriting is the family business.

The Tennessee native co-wrote the anthemic #1 hit, “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys,” which earned Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson a Grammy Award in 1978. The song was featured in the Robert Redford/Jane Fonda movie, Electric Horseman, has been recorded more than 300 times and has been used in major television ad campaigns. Bruce also co-wrote the Tanya Tucker Top 5 hit, “Texas When I Die,” as well as the theme song for hit TV series, “Maverick.” Her son - SongBird’s Creative Director Trey Bruce - has penned several #1 country hits including “Look Heart, No Hands,” and “Whisper My Name” for Randy Travis; “How Your Love Makes Me Feel,” for Diamond Rio; and Top 5 hits “Someone Else’s Dream” and “You Can’t Lose Me,” for Faith Hill.

She’s been a tireless advocate for songwriters for as long as she can remember. “When I was president of the Nashville Songwriters Association (NSAI) in the late ‘70s, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and Larry Butler paid for a group of us to go to Washington to lobby, as they still do today, to get copyright laws changed,” she said. “While testifying in Congress they actually asked me where songs come from and it was in such a tone, it occurred to me they believed songs just appeared on the radio and that most artists wrote their own hits.

“So I told them, ‘You’re partially right,’ and gave them the analogy that songs come out of the radio just like milk comes out of a carton and that makes us forget the songwriter and the cow who did the work.”

Joking that she’s equally blessed and cursed by active left and right sides of her brain, Bruce did not rest on her songwriting success. By the early ‘80s she was splitting her time between Nashville and Hollywood where she had an office on a Burbank movie lot working as a casting director for movies including Urban Cowboy, in which she and Shari Rhodes and Liz Keighley cast Debra Winger and Scott Glenn to co-star alongside John Travolta. She also established strong relationships with Madison Avenue ad agencies which led to music and voice-over placements. “I guess it never occurred to me that I couldn’t do it,” Bruce says of her fearlessness in pursuing her ideas at a time when women – let alone country songwriters from Tennessee – weren’t competing on an even playing field. “It’s what I continue to mentor to young women today: if you want to do it, go do it! You’ll never succeed simply saying ‘I could never do that.’”

A new decade meant new business ventures for Bruce. She opened Events Unlimited, an international events company, in the early ‘90s and earned Events Magazine’s prestigious Gala Award – the event industry’s premier award – for Best Events Company eight consecutive years. Her client roster included entertainment and corporate heavy-hitters and recalling her most memorable event is easy for Bruce. It was a private corporate event staged in the Super Dome in New Orleans. It involved a team of 1300 who created a 1/3 replica of that city’s famed French Quarters complete with live entertainment by Al Hirt, Fats Domino and the Rolling Stones. “It was the only time I was given – and spent – a $9 million budget in one week!”

After several whirlwind decades of personal and professional success in the entertainment and events industries, Bruce retired. Yet it comes as no real surprise that she didn’t exactly slow down. In 2004 then Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen named the entrepreneur to the Tennessee Board of Parole and Probation, a fulltime state commission. She served on the Board for 12 years.

It was her strong vision for SongBird Tours that put her back on Music Row. She bounced her ideas off of industry friends who agreed she was on to something and methodically put together a team of top bus and lighting designers as well as sound and video engineers. “We’ve tried not to spare any expense to make the customer experience a great one,” Bruce said. “The SongBird bus provides everything you need to enjoy a show in comfort, possibly even more so than some clubs around town. As you can imagine, songwriters are really close to my heart.”

Today Bruce is on the board of victim advocacy group You Have the Power; on the board of Safe Haven Domestic Violence House in Cheatham county; and has just graduated from the current class of Leadership Cheatham County. She is also a proud mother, grandmother and great-grandmother of 17. Asked if she has any hobbies, Bruce just laughs.

Trey Bruce

Chief Creative Officer

Emmy Award winning songwriter, Trey Bruce, moved to Nashville just in time for the 1990’s country music boom. Trey was a rock drummer from Memphis so ….”What could go wrong?”  he joked. He was smart to follow his heart because in this case, everything went right and today Trey ranks among Music City’s creative elite with multiple #1 singles and hits for the likes of Randy Travis, Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, Diamond Rio, ZZ Top, LeAnn Rimes, Trisha Yearwood and Marty Stuart to name a few.

Trey has had publishing deals with MCA Music, Big Tractor Music and created a publishing joint venture with Chrysalis Music where he served as VP of A&R and Development for their Nashville office.  In that position, he discovered, signed and developed new artists including Chris Janson (Warner Bros.), Charlie Worsham (Warner Bros.), Brothers Osborne’s John & TJ Osborne (Universal/Capitol) and “American Idol’s” Kree Harrison.

In addition to songwriting, Trey has also made a name for himself as a record producer and has produced three albums for Trace Adkins as well as album releases from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Chris LeDoux and Rebecca Lynn Howard.

In 2014 Trey led the fight to save RCA’s historic Studio A from demolition, opening the door for Music Row to become organized as a neighborhood and placed on The National Register of Historic Places.

It’s no real surprise that when Patsy Bruce told Trey about her idea for SongBird Tours, he knew she was on to something. “The story of a songwriter’s life in Nashville is unique and having written all over the world, I know how special it is here,” he said. “The education and trial by fire of a songwriter is something most people don’t know about. They don’t know that in the best of times, the majority of songwriters aren’t wealthy, they’re just getting by. So now we have a chance to tell visitors what songwriters do and how they do it.”

Trey has drawn from his countless in-the-round songwriter performances while overseeing the total transformation of the SongBird bus from people transporter to state-of-the-art performance space. With lighting design by Chris Lisle (Miranda Lambert, Robert Plant, Chris Young), sound design by JSS and Richard Battaglia (Bela Fleck) and the remodel and installation of theater seating by Klein Interior Specialist.  Everything has been taken into consideration to ensure a first class live music experience like no other.

“People have a hard time getting into the Bluebird Cafe these days so we want to offer them a performance with a little songwriter reverence that’s still in the same fun spirit of driving around Nashville in a bus,” Trey said. “Typically no one wants to hear a songwriter until they do, and then realize that hearing the writer play the songs is a completely different experience than hearing the artist that recorded them. So that’s why I’m doing this.’

Today, Trey is Vice Chair of Historic National Inc. and on the Governor’s Keep Tennessee Beautiful Advisory Council.  Trey continues to write, produce and develop artists. Trey’s a husband and father with four daughters and 3 granddaughters.

Nashville, TN

Chuck Jones

Nashville, TN

Marla Morris

Leave Music City knowing a songwriter.

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