Episode 129: Bruce Hornsby

Episode 129 of The JamBase Podcast, a partner of the Osiris Media Network, features the return of Bruce Hornsby. JamBase’s Scott Bernstein again interviewed the renowned pianist/composer about his new album, ‘Flicted, and much more.

Bernstein spoke with Hornsby over a video call a few weeks back from his home studio in Virginia. The pair started by talking about covers as ‘Flicted features Hornsby’s arrangement of Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business,” the first time he’s included a cover on one of his studio albums. Hornsby explained why he completely reworks songs and strays far from the original when he covers a tune and gave examples of his takes on Elton John’s “Madman Across The Water” and Dinosaur Jr.’s “Feel The Pain” from past tribute albums.

Scotty and Bruce then discussed setlists. Hornsby’s first appearance on The JamBase Podcast came in 2018, when he talked “The Art Of The Setlist” with Bernstein at City Winery in New York City. Bruce continues to go without a pre-planned setlist each night and has audience members put requests on pieces of paper that litter his stage. Hornsby had recently added multi-instrumentalist John Mailander to his band, The Noisemakers, when the pair last talked and Bruce updated listeners on how Mailander has hit into the group like a glove.

Talk then turned to ‘Flicted, which completes a trilogy started with 2019’s Absolute Zero that continued with 2020’s Non-Secure Connection. Hornsby revealed two very disparate elements in his musical life came together over the past few years. First, he’s been looking back at film cues he wrote for director Spike Lee and creating full songs from them. Additionally, Bruce has been working with the latest generation of musical acts after Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon opened a door into the indie world for him. ‘Flicted, like Absolute Zero and Non-Secure Connection, features a number of songs developed out of film cues and guest appearances from as Hornsby said, “talented artists interested in working with grandpa.” The album is out now on Zappo Productions/Thirty Tigers.

Hornsby went on to talk about contributors to ‘Flicted including Blake Mills, Danielle Haim, Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend, Z. Berg and Ethan Grushka. Bruce also detailed his relationship with ‘Flicted co-producer Tony Berg and how producer Ariel Rechtshaid helped out on a few tracks. Additional topics discussed were a new album Hornsby is working on with yMusic, a project Greensky Bluegrass may be potentially involved in and his appreciation for EDM.

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Listen to Episode 129 of The JamBase Podcast via all major podcast services including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Google Podcast.