Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers
Twenty five years after winning a Best New Artist Grammy and launching one of contemporary music’s most diverse and collaborative careers, Bruce Hornsby is still, blissfully, making joyful noise—and finding clever, expansive ways to chronicle the dynamic musical snapshots along the journey. Now comes the release of Bride Of The Noisemakers--an ambitious 25 track, double CD chronicling 2007-2009 live performances of some of the singer/songwriter and pianist’s hand-picked songs of the past 20 years. The songs are recorded live capturing the playful, freewheeling spirit and unique chemistry of his longtime band The Noisemakers.
The Noisemakers consists of bassist J.V. Collier (who has played with Hornsby 17 years), keyboardist/organist John “JT” Thomas (21 years), saxophonist flutist Bobby Read (18 years), guitarist/mandolin player Doug Derryberry (13 years) and drummer Sonny Emory (the relative newcomer of the bunch, nine years). Released eleven years after Here Come The Noisemakers, a double-CD live document of the group’s early years (with original drummer Michael Baker), Bride Of The Noisemakers is a powerful expression of how the group sounds today.
Tapping into many of the genres that have influenced Hornsby’s artistic output over the years—pop, jazz, bluegrass, country and modern classical music—Bride of the Noisemakers features songs from previous releases such as Big Swing Face (2002), Halcyon Days (2004), and Levitate (2009) in addition to Camp Meeting (2007), which featured bassist Christian McBride and drummer Jack DeJohnette, and Hornsby’s acclaimed 80s and 90s releases, including Scenes From The Southside (1988), Hothouse (1995) and Spirit Trail (1998).
In recent years, Hornsby has pushed his artistic limits working with bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs, The Bruce Hornsby Trio and jazz legend Charlie Haden. Hornsby has also scored the Kobe Bryant documentary (“Kobe Doin’ Work”) for Spike Lee and contributed to all-star collections paying tribute to Fats Domino and The Band. A University of Miami music alum, Hornsby has also partnered with The Frost School of Music to establish the Creative American Music Program, a curriculum designed to develop the creative skills of talented young artist/songwriters by immersing them in the diverse traditions that form the foundation of modern American songwriting.
The sales stats and breadth of his superstar collaborations (including being sampled many times by rap/hip-hop artists) speak volumes about Hornsby’s unique fusion of mainstream appeal and wild musical diversity. His albums have sold over 11 million copies worldwide, and the title cut from The Way It Is was the most played song on American radio in 1987, winning the ASCAP “Song of the Year” award. Harbor Lights was the 1994 winner of the Downbeat Reader’s Poll Beyond Album of the Year (meaning all music other than Jazz and Blues). Tupac Shakur “co-wrote” a new song over “The Way It Is” music with Bruce, using new words, called “Changes”; it was a major worldwide hit, selling 14 million copies.
He has played on over 100 records over the years, including albums by Bob Dylan, Don Henley, the Grateful Dead, Bob Seger, Crosby Stills and Nash, Stevie Nicks, Cowboy Junkies, Squeeze, Liquid Jesus, Bonnie Raitt (piano on the classic “I Can’t Make You Love Me”), Shawn Colvin, Bela Fleck, Clint Black, Ricky Skaggs, Randy Scruggs, Willie Nelson, and end-title songs for two other Spike Lee movies, Clockers (with Chaka Khan), and Bamboozled.
“I can be a slow learner, and sometimes it takes me a while to arrive at the most soulful way to play and sing one of my songs, or anyone’s song for that matter. Our approach to playing allows songs to grow, evolve and change through the years, and this second live album documents where that improvisatory mindset has led us up to this point.”