Bruce Randall Hornsby (born November 23, 1954 in Williamsburg, Virginia) is an American singer, virtuoso pianist, accordion player, and songwriter, best known for his 1980s signature song "The Way It Is" and the top five hits "Mandolin Rain" and "The Valley Road". Later in his recording career he moved in a less commercial, more musically challenging direction. However, his live shows have long been marked by a more spontaneous, improvisational approach.
In 1984 he formed Bruce Hornsby and the Range, who were signed to RCA Records in 1985. Besides Hornsby, Range members were David Mansfield (guitar, mandolin, violin), George Marinelli (guitars and backing vocals), Joe Puerta (bass guitar and backing vocals), and John Molo (drums).
During the 1990s he toured with the Grateful Dead, and released four albums, including "A Night on the Town" (1990) after which he split from The Range. "Harbor Lights" (1993) was his first solo album and signaled Hornsby was moving in a new jazz-influenced direction, whilst retaining elements of rock and pop. Later releases include "Hot House" (1995) and "Spirit Trail" (1998).
His experimental album "Big Swing Face" (2002) attracted much criticism as it veered away from his piano-based style. Despite these criticisms, he returned with his next studio album, shrugging off RCA and signing to Sony Music Entertainment. "Halcyon Days", released in 2004, saw a return to the piano as the key instrument; this album also became the premise for his world tour the same year.
Hornsby continues to tour with his live band "The Noisemakers", in addition to solo shows and his progressive bluegrass performances with Ricky Skaggs. He has recently finished the recording of his new CD "Camp Meeting", his first total jazz album which involved jazz giants, Jack DeJohnette and Christian McBride, whom he is making live appearances with throughout 2007.
Bruce Hornsby (born Bruce Randall Hornsby, November 23, 1954), is an American singer, pianist, accordion player, and songwriter. Known for the spontaneity and creativity of his live performances, Hornsby draws frequently from classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, Motown, rock, blues, and jam band musical traditions with his songwriting and the seamless improvisations contained within.
Hornsby's recordings have been recognised on a number of occasions with industry awards, including the Best New Artist Grammy in 1987 with Bruce Hornsby and the Range, the Best Bluegrass Recording Grammy in 1989, and the Best Pop Instrumental Grammy in 1993.
Hornsby has also achieved recognition for his solo albums and performances, his current live act Bruce Hornsby & the Noise Makers, his bluegrass project with Ricky Skaggs, his jazz act The Bruce Hornsby Trio, and his appearances as a session- and guest-musician. He also collaborated with the Grateful Dead and was a part time member of the band from September 1990 to April 1992.