Saturday, July 30, 2005

Hornsby to come to Red Butte Gardens

This will be a local show for SLC Library Boy!

From Standard Net:

'Book the Red Butte Garden,' his band said. And so Bruce Hornsby did.
Thursday, July 28, 2005

By Linda East BradyStandard-Examiner staff

Bruce Hornsby is a singer/songwriter who ranges wide with his keyboards and accordion.
One of Hornsby's preferred roaming spots is along the foothills of the Wasatch Front, where Red Butte Garden is nestled.

"We like that place," he said, calling from the road in Nevada. "We've played it twice before. We tried to get in there last year, but it didn't happen. In fact, a bunch of my band guys said, 'Are you booking the summer tour? Book the Red Butte Garden.' "

Though the botanical garden-set amphitheater is undeniably beautiful, the scenery is only part of the appeal to Hornsby and his boys.

"We just like the crowd," he said. "It is a very boisterous, very exuberant, buoyant affair ... the last time we played Red Butte, we had the crowd up and chanting our drummer's name."

Sonny Emery is the drummer who inspired the Red Butte revelers to take up his name. Also joining the New Bruce Hornsby Project in Salt Lake City are J.V. Collier on bass, J. T. Thomas on organ, Doug Derryberry on guitar and possibly Bobby Read on sax. Between them, the players have decades of studio work, musical styles and road time.
Hornsby is a three-time Grammy winner with more than $10 million in record sales since his debut with the 1986 smash "The Way It Is." With nine full-length releases under his own name, not counting collections, and his studio work on other artists' albums closing in on 100, Hornsby has left a mark on genres as diverse as classical, pop, jazz, bluegrass and swing.

Finding his 'Way'

Hornsby started out on the piano but wandered a little before settling down on the bench.

"I took lessons for a year when I was 7, then I got into playing guitar when the British Invasion caught us all," he said. "I was more of a jock as a kid, anyway, but then in 11th grade, I got into piano after hearing Elton's 'Tumbleweed Connection' and Joe Cocker's 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen,' with Leon Russell.

"Goodbye, basketball! I got really into jazz in high school, got into Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, and kind of changed my life and focus."

His music led him first to a stint at Boston's Berklee College of Music and the University of Miami to study jazz. After honing his craft playing bars and sending out demo tapes, he went to Los Angeles in 1980 with his songwriting partner and brother John Hornsby.

The Hornsby brothers spent three years writing music for 20th Century Fox studios.

The big break came in 1986, when Hornsby's debut album sold 2 million copies. It included the socially conscious title song, "The Way It Is." Hornsby and his band at the time, the Range, landed the 1986 Grammy for best new artist.
"It was a great door-opener, in a sense," said Hornsby, "a wonderful accident. I am more proud of what I did later, though. The thing with having great pop success is you acquire an audience that's very soft-core, they're a top 40 audience that'll be with you as long as you have hits.

"You can count on one hand those who've had long careers with that top 40 crowd. It's a very fickle audience that permits a very narrow stylistic range. And that's really a drag if you want to push things and go to new areas."

Dead time

In July 1990, Grateful Dead keyboardist Brent Mydland died. The legendary jam band turned to Hornsby for help.
"I played about 100 shows," he said of his Dead time. "Where else can you play one song for an hour? They're great people, and I love the songs -- I think they're underrated as songwriters. People always talk about the scene and the trappings, the Deadheads, which is very interesting, I guess.
"But it was the songs for me ... I started pushing music to a more adventurous place, having played with the Dead. That kind of opened me up."

Accordion punk

Hornsby's latest release is 2004's "Halcyon Days." He is the father of twin boys, now 13, and believes that relationship had a lot to do with the tone of the album.

"I had a thematic thread inspired by my being a parent," he said. "As I get older, I write less-serious songs, tending to gravitate toward the humorous side."

The record has received strong support on adult alternative radio. One particularly successful piece in that market is "Going to Be Changes Made" It's a song about a sad sack who, for at least one verse, finds happiness with a beautiful woman.

Hornsby sums up the tune by saying, "It's a song about drooling and skinny-dipping. I think many people can relate."
Hornsby also confesses to enjoying dabbling with those mini-keyboards more often seen strapped to polka kings and zydeco masters.

"I played accordion music for years. I play on my records and at gigs. But I'm really no good. I subscribe to the punk aesthetic -- anyone should be able to do it. The accordion, the piano-key, is my nod to that punk aesthetic.
"Really, I'm just trying to play the piano well. But especially in concert, the accordion gives you a little piano relief. But if you come out and see us and I pick it up, don't listen too hard."

From Red Butte Garden's website:

Bruce HornsbySunday, July 31
A three-time Grammy winner who's sold more than 10 million records since his debut in 1986, draws from a wide array of influences – among them jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, rock, vaudeville and sounds both swinging and downright uncategorizable.
Advance $29, Day of $31
$2 Facility Fee added to each ticket.


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