The Valley Road
Another great piece from our new contributor Doug Christian taking a look at the great Bruce Hornsby, a guy who plays Rock like Jazz, interpreting songs differently each time, a skill that enabled him to play 100 shows with no less than the Grateful Dead. Here's Doug's commentary about this incredible artist. -- TDR
Bruce Randall Hornsby (born November 23, 1954) is an American singer and keyboardist known for the spontaneity and creativity of his live performances. Hornsby draws frequently from classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, Motown, gospel, rock, blues, and jam band musical traditions with his songwriting and the seamless improvisations contained within. Hornsby's recordings have been recognized on a number of occasions with industry awards, including the 1987 Grammy Award for Best New Artist with Bruce Hornsby and the Range, the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album, and the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
Hornsby has also achieved recognition for his solo albums and performances, his touring band Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, his bluegrass project with Ricky Skaggs and his appearances as a session- and guest-musician. He also collaborated with Grateful Dead and was an unofficial member of the band from September 1990 to March 1992, playing at over 100 shows during that period.
"To be creative, spontaneous in the moment and make music in the present tense, that's what we're all about live. I write the songs, we make the records and then the records become a departure point, the basic blueprint, the basic arrrangement. I'm fairly restless creatively. I was never a very good Top 40 band guy because I never liked to play the same thing every time. Too often songwriters approach their songs like museum pieces. I don't subscribe to that. I think of my songs as living beings that evolve and change and grow through the years."
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