Bruce Hornsby

Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers @ Pabst Theater [MKE] - 8/7/19

Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers @ Pabst Theater [MKE] - 8/7/19

By all accounts, Bruce Hornsby is having a hell of a year. But if you've been paying attention at all, that's been pretty much every year for the legendary pianist. In the 33 years since fame first found him on 1986's The Way It Is, Hornsby has been a pop star, jazz titan, Grateful Dead member, bluegrass provocateur and more. Suffice to say, this Virginia boy "done good."

Bringing all of that history to the stage is no small feat, but at his recent stop at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee with his band The Noisemakers, Hornsby delivered a dream setlist that spanned from his latest LP Absolute Zero all the way back to his first album and back again with some Hornsby penned (but not recorded) hits thrown in for good measure.

Episode 417: Bruce Hornsby's 'Absolute Zero'

Episode 417: Bruce Hornsby's 'Absolute Zero'

Over the course of his over 30-plus year career, Bruce Hornsby has been a pop star, avant-garde provocateur and jazz titan, folk hero, member of the Grateful Dead and more.

On his new album Absolute Zero, Hornsby is tapping into all of these facets of his talent and more and the result is a complex, dense, and immensely satisfying collection of songs that speak to the state of our world, and where we are going to go from here. Joining us to talk about Absolute Zero is Brokedown Pod host and Bruce Hornsby enthusiast Jonathan Hart. So kick back and open up your mind as we press play on a brand new episode of Discologist.

"Bruuuuuuuuce!": Bruce Hornsby w/Punch Brothers @ Wolftrap - 8/28/11

Take THAT Irene!

This past Sunday, the day after it was threatened  by one force of nature, the DC area was rewarded by two musical forces of nature as they took the stage at Wolftrap. 

First up, Punch Brothers. Starting their set as the lawn slowly began to fill up, the band took note that they normally don't have the opportunity to play venues the size of Wolftrap. Why this is, is anyone's guess though. Playing a style of music that can best be described as "extreme bluegrass" this band, led by mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, is made up of some of the best players on ANY scene that's around today. 

Their 2010 album, Antifogmatic, ranked as one of my top albums of that year, and the bands set pulled heavily from that record as expected. But that didn't stop them from throwing in a few new tunes. One of those new songs, "Movement and Location", built slowly from a drone but soon developed into some sort of weird bluegrass/Radiohead hybrid that sounded nothing like the band has done before yet exactly like something you would expect them to come up with. 

All in all it was a fantastic, albeit short, set that highlighted just why they were picked to tour with a legend like Hornsby this trip out. 

As the lights came up on Hornsby's set, calls of "Bruuuuuuuce" echoed around the wooden interior of the shed at Wolftrap. By now using the term legend with Hornsby isn't just expected, it's demanded. The man has played with or written for a staggering amount of musicians in his career and his stylistic range can best be described as "all".