Bruce Sudano Talks ‘The Burbank Sessions’, Family, R&B Music, Late Wife Donna Summer, More

Legendary musician, songwriter, and singer Bruce Sudano is truly a work of art in the music industry.

For more than 30 years, Bruce has released groundbreaking music and worked with several artists including Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Michael Jackson, and his wife, the late Grammy Award-winning Donna Summer. His music is categorized into many musical genres, including R&B, blues, pop, disco, and smooth jazz.

The former Brooklyn Dreams member has truly remained relevant. Sudano launched his independent label Purple Heart Records and released a new project, The Burbank Sessions, which dropped in September (purchase above).

Singersroom conversed with the musician about his new project, music evolving, R&B music, and more.

Check out our interview.

Let's talk about your newest project, The Burbank Sessions. How did you come up with the title?

That's easy. We recorded the record at our rehearsal studio, Loki Sound, which is located in Burbank California. These were all songs I had written and incorporated into the set as we were touring last summer with The Zombies. So we just set up some mics and knocked it out since we were used to doing them live.

How is this project different from any other material you've ever recorded in the past?

Well, I'd have to say it's how quickly we got it done. We played each song twice, chose the better take, and mixed it. Finito! I always say had there been an audience, I would have called it a live record.

How would you categorize today's R&B music? Do you believe it's missing substance or value?

I don't believe you can generalize here. Every genre will have stuff that hits and misses as it relates to substance and value and that is probably subjective. But much of R&B is love songs but there's always a Marvin Gaye or Tupac that's gonna show up and get you thinking about things.

What inspired you to write and/or compose some of your biggest records during the past four decades?

Usually, I'm inspired by some life experience that strikes my soul and when trying to understand what I'm feeling, I write, because that's my way. Then sometimes I get lucky, and the song finds its way into popularity.

What are some of the fondest moments you've had with your wife, the Grammy Award-winning Donna Summer?

The fondest moments are the family times. Everybody at the dinner table sharing their day, watching a movie together, you know, the beautiful simplicity of a family being together going through life.

One picture that just popped into my mind is from the late 80's, when LA's finest session musicians would gather at our ranch in Thousand Oaks for a Saturday afternoon football game in the front pasture, with our young daughters acting as cheerleaders and Donna in an apron waving for us to come eat, as all the varied pizzas she had concocted in our pizza oven were ready for consumption. My favorite was her pesto pizza.

How does it feel when people still highlight your work with the late MJ, Madonna, and others?

Well, let's start by saying I never worked with Madonna. As for the others I did work with, it feels like a picture you see of yourself as a kid; you know it's you, but there's a distance — a disconnect, yet a romantic, fondness of memory.

Are there any upcoming artists, national and internationally you're planning to work in the near future?

I have no plans to work with other artists right now, but that could change. I'm currently on a European tour with a young rock band from New York called Hollis Brown, and I'm really enjoying that.

Who is Bruce Sudano outside of singing, recording, and touring all over the world?

An Italian-American Brooklyn boy who's been blessed by God to lead a very charmed life.