Bruce Hornsby

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About Bruce Hornsby

It might have seemed as if singer/songwriter/keyboardist Bruce Hornsby’s smash 1986 single “The Way It Is” made him a star straight out of the gate, but appearances can be deceiving. Hornsby, born in Virginia in 1954, had been kicking around for a good while. In his twenties, he and his older brother Bobby had a band together, and in 1980 he and his younger brother John moved to L.A. and landed a songwriting gig with 20th Century Fox. He then toured as a keyboardist with Ambrosia and Sheena Easton before forming Bruce Hornsby & The Range (including Ambrosia’s Joe Puerta on bass), who released their debut LP, The Way It Is, in 1986, blending rootsy rock influences and adult-contemporary pop. Combining Hornsby’s fluid piano playing with trenchant observations about racism in America, the title track became a radio staple forevermore, and more hits followed. In the late ’80s, Hornsby began guesting onstage with the Grateful Dead, and after their keyboardist, Brent Mydland, died in 1990, he spent a couple of years touring with them. This affected his solo recordings, which became more open-ended and jazz-tinged. Over the years, Hornsby has worked with Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley, Ricky Skaggs, and others, but he has never stopped growing as a solo artist.

Williamsburg, VA, United States
November 23, 1954
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