Robert Plant with Railroad Earth and Bruce Hornsby
Bruce Hornsby: As one of the most versatile and prolific concert performers in American music history, Bruce Hornsby has attracted loyal concert-goers and fans around the world. After winning the Best New Artist Grammy Award in 1987, Bruce Hornsby's career has spanned several genres including Jazz, Rock, Bluegrass, and he was also a part-time member of the Grateful Dead between 1990 and 1992.
After graduating from the University of Miami in 1977, Hornsby moved to LA to get his recording career off the ground. He started out as a session musician and toured with Sheena Easton before moving back to Virginia. He started his band, Bruce Hornsby and the Range, and released his biggest hit to-date - "The Way It Is" in 1986, which was sampled in Tupac Shakur's posthumous hit of the same name. The single was a multi-Platinum success and earned Hornsby the Grammy for Best New Artist. In 1988, Hornsby toured with the Grateful Dead and became a frequent fixture on the touring scene with the legendary jam band.
By the end of the decade, Hornsby became a prolific producer working on the boards behind Leon Russell's comeback album and winning a Grammy Award for his production work with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1990. Since the 1990s Hornsby has split his time between solo projects, and daring collaborations. His 2009 album with the Noisemakers, Levitate, featured an amalgam of solo material and music written for the Broadway play, SCKBSTD. Hornsby's latest collaboration with The Noisemakers was the 2011 live album, Bride of the Noisemakers, but has plans to release a new album with the band titled, Rehab Reunion, soon.
During his off-time with The Noisemakers, Hornsby wasted no time seeking out other talented musicians. In addition to his hugely successful collaborations with bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs, Hornsby formed The Bruce Hornsby Trio with bassist Christian McBride and drummer Jack DeJohnette in 2007; the trio continues to play when time permits. Hornsby also reunited with his Grateful Dead bandmates for several farewell and reunion shows in 2015, as well as to contribute to the album 30 Trips Around the Sun.
Despite his many collaborations, Hornsby still strives to work on his solo projects. In between his many collaborations, Hornsby carved out all the time he could to solo touring. His time spent innovating on his own -- combined with what he picked up from other musicians -- drastically advanced the complexity and skill of his piano playing. His evolved style and sound is evidenced on his 2014 live album, Solo Concerts, which also happened to be Hornsby's first live solo album.
No one is sure what Bruce Hornsby has planned after the release of his upcoming album with The Noisemakers; but whether it be an album with a frequent collaborator, a solo tour, or something completely new, audiences can count on Hornsby only getting better with age.