Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers AND The Wood Brothers – Charleston, SC – June 27, 2018

Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers AND The Wood Brothers

Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers AND The Wood Brothers

Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Charleston Gaillard Center
Charleston, SC

Tickets On Sale Now:
Tickets available by phone at 843-242-3099, or online at Gaillardcenter.org.

Ticket Prices:
$85.00
$75.00
$44.00
$32.00
(plus applicable fees and/or taxes)

Doors: 7:00pm
Show: 8:00pm

Presented by NS2




Bruce Hornsby

Bruce Hornsby has built one of the most diverse, collaborative and adventurous careers in contemporary music. Drawing from a vast wellspring of American musical traditions, the singer/pianist/composer/bandleader has created a large and accomplished body of work and employed a vast array of stylistic approaches. Throughout this period, Hornsby has maintained the integrity, virtuosity and artistic curiosity that have been hallmarks of his work from the start.

Hornsby and his band The Range’s first album The Way It Is (1986) was steadily and slowly building in popularity in the U.S. when in August the title track exploded on BBC Radio One in England, then Europe, the rest of the world and finally in the United States. The record went on to sell three million records, the band played Saturday Night Live and opened for Steve Winwood, John Fogerty, Huey Lewis, the Grateful Dead and the Eurythmics before becoming headliners on their own tour supported by Crowded House.

Soon Hornsby was being approached regularly to collaborate with a broad range of musicians and writers, a demand that continues to this day. He has played on records for Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Bonnie Raitt (piano on her iconic “I Can’t Make You Love Me”), Willie Nelson, Don Henley, Bob Seger, Squeeze, Stevie Nicks, Chaka Khan, Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver), Leon Russell, Chris Whitley, Warren Zevon, Bernie Taupin, Brandon Flowers (of the Killers), Cowboy Junkies, Shawn Colvin, Bela Fleck, Randy Scruggs, Hillary Scott, the Wild Magnolias, Clint Black, Sara Evans, Clannad and many more. He has worked on his own records with Ornette Coleman, Jerry Garcia, Eric Clapton, Sting, Elton John, Mavis Staples, Phil Collins, Pat Metheny, Branford Marsalis, Wayne Shorter and Justin Vernon, among others. Along with his early collaborator, brother Jonathan Hornsby and latter-day partner Chip deMatteo, Bruce has co-written songs with Robert Hunter (the great Grateful Dead lyricist), Robbie Robertson, Don Henley, Leon Russell, Charlie Haden, Chaka Khan, and Jack DeJohnette. His songs have been recorded by another broad array of artists including Tupac Shakur (his iconic “Changes”), Akon, E-40, Chaka Khan, Don Henley, Leon Russell, Willie Nelson, Mase, Randy Scruggs, and Robbie Robertson.

Over the years Hornsby has successfully ventured into bluegrass, jazz, classical, and even electronica, reflected on acclaimed releases like two projects with Ricky Skaggs- Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby (2007) and the live Cluck Ol’ Hen (2013), the jazz trio album Camp Meeting (2007) with Jack DeJohnette and Christian McBride, and “Solo Concerts (2014), a stylistic merging of traditional American roots music and the dissonance and adventure of modern classical music. This latter-day interest has led to an orchestral project spearheaded by Michael Tilson Thomas featuring this new music; the first performance occurred in January 2015 with Tilson Thomas’ New World Symphony, and the latest concert with more new material came in February 2017 with the University of Miami graduate orchestra.

His three Grammy wins (along with his ten Grammy losses!) typify the diversity of his career: Best New Artist (1986) as leader of Bruce Hornsby and the Range, Best Bluegrass Recording (1989) for a version of his old Range hit “The Valley Road” that appeared on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will The Circle Be Unbroken Volume Two, and a shared award with Branford Marsalis in 1993 for Best Pop Instrumental for “Barcelona Mona”, a song written and performed for the 1992 Olympic Games.

The sales stats and breadth of his 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 eleven million copies worldwide. Harbor Lights (1993) won the Downbeat Reader’s Poll Album of the Year in 1994. Tupac Shakur co-wrote a new song over “The Way It Is” music called “Changes”; it was a major worldwide hit in 1998, selling 15 million copies. In 2006 his 4 CD set Intersections was selected as one of the best boxed sets of the year by the New York Times. His song “Levitate” was selected in 2011 by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 40 sports songs of all time. The most recent record from Bruce and his current band The Noisemakers, which includes Sonny Emory on drums, JV Collier on bass, JT Thomas on keyboards, Ross Holmes on fiddle & mandolin and Gibb Droll on guitar, Rehab Reunion (a collection featuring Bruce on the Appalachian dulcimer) entered the Billboard album chart at 101 upon release in 2016, marking his tenth album appearance on the venerable chart over a thirty-year period. In 2016 the annual Rolling Stone “Hot List” selected Bruce as “Hot Surprise Influence”, citing his influence and inspiration on such modern artists as Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Ryan Adams.

Throughout the years Hornsby has participated in several memorable events: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opening concert in September 1995 (with the performance included on the concert album), Farm Aid IV and VI, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival (many times), the Newport Jazz Festival (2007), New Orleans Heritage and Jazz Festival (1997 and 2011), Woodstock II (1994), Woodstock III (1999, with the band’s performance included on the concert album), and the Bonnaroo Festival (2011). Hornsby, solo and with Branford Marsalis, has performed the National Anthem for many major events including the NBA All-Star game, four NBA Finals, the 1997 World Series Game 5, the night Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s all-time consecutive game streak, and the soundtrack to “Baseball: A Film By Ken Burns”. Most recently he was a special guest of Bon Iver for their set at the Coachella festival in April 2017.

Bruce’s long involvement with the Grateful Dead began when the group asked him to open two shows in Monterey, CA in the spring of 1987. Bruce and the Range continued to open shows for the Dead in 1988, 1989 and 1990, and after the tragic death of Dead keyboardist Brent Mydland the band asked him to play with them. He started winging it with them with no rehearsal for five nights at Madison Square Garden in September 1990,, and played more than 100 shows with them until March 1992. He continued to sit in with the band every year until Jerry Garcia passed away in 1995. He played in the first post-Dead band “The Other Ones” in 1998 (the album The Strange Remain chronicles that tour) and 2000. Bruce reunited with the band for the 50th Anniversary Fare Thee Well concerts in June and July 2015 at Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara, CA) and Soldier Field (Chicago). He appears on seven Grateful Dead records including Infrared Roses and View From The Vault II.

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Bruce has been part of many tribute records including two Grateful Dead collections, the original Deadicated (1991) and the recent massive compilation curated by the band The National entitled “Day of the Dead”. He recorded “Black Muddy River” with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Justin’s high school band DeYarmond Edison. Other tribute record appearances include Two Rooms- A Tribute To The Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, a Keith Jarrett tribute, a tribute to The Band, a Fats Domino collection, Ricky Skaggs’ Big Mon- the music of Bill Monroe, and a Jackson Browne tribute record.

A University of Miami alum, Hornsby has 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 diverse American folk, blues, and gospel traditions that form the foundations of modern American songwriting.

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Indeed, Bruce Hornsby’s restless musical spirit continues to spontaneously push him forward into exciting new musical pursuits. He’s composed and performed for many projects with long-time collaborator, filmmaker Spike Lee including end-title songs for two films, Clockers (1995, with Chaka Khan) and Bamboozled (2001). He contributed music for If God is Willin’ And the Creek Don’t Rise (2010), Old Boy (2013) and Chiraq (2015), and full film scores for Kobe Doin’ Work, Lee’s 2009 ESPN Kobe Bryant documentary, 2012’s Red Hook Summer, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2015), and Lee’s film for the NBA2K16 video game (2015). Bruce wrote and performed the end title song “Set Me In Motion” for Ron Howard’s Backdraft (1991) and a featured song “Big Stick” for Ron Shelton’s Tin Cup (1996). He’s currently working with DeMatteo on a musical entitled SCKBSTD, and contributed music for Disney/Pixar’s Planes: Fire And Rescue (2014). Hornsby is also featured onscreen in and contributed music to the Robin Williams/ Bobcat Goldthwaite film World’s Greatest Dad (2009), the first (and last!) time he has been asked to “act”. His latest score, for Spike Lee’s Netflix production She’s Gotta Have It, was completed Summer 2017.

Three decades after Bruce Hornsby established his global name as the creator of pop hits that defined “the sound of grace on the radio,” as a Rolling Stone reviewer once wrote, such projects continue and are consistent with his lifelong pursuit of musical transcendence. “It’s always been about staying inspired, broadening my reach and range of abilities and influences, and exploring new areas”, Hornsby says. “I’m very fortunate to be able to do that, to be a lifelong student, and to continue to pursue a wide-ranging musical life.”

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The Wood Brothers

“It’s the freest album we’ve done, the most independent album we’ve done, and was the most fun we’ve ever had making a record,” says Oliver Wood. “And most importantly, this is the most purely Wood Brothers’ album we’ve ever made.”

Indeed, The Wood Brothers’ sixth outing, ‘One Drop of Truth,’ dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing trio featuring brothers Oliver and Chris Wood along with Jano Rix treat each song as if it were its own short film. The plaintive, country-folk of the album’s opening track “River Takes The Town” gives way to the The Band-esque Americana soul of “Happiness Jones.” The wistful ballad “Strange As It Seems” floats on a cloud of stream of consciousness, standing in stark contrast to “Sky High”—a Saturday night barnburner built upon stinging slide guitar funk. “Seasick Emotions” is rife with turmoil, yet “Sparking Wine” is jaunty and carefree. The end result is undeniably The Wood Brothers’ most dynamic recording to date.

“Often, when you’re making an album in the traditional way, there will be a unifying concept, whether that be in the approach to the music stylistically or lyrically in terms over the overall narrative. And even though there are some themes that revealed themselves later, this one is all over the place,” explains Oliver Wood. “What I really love about this record is that each one of these songs has its own little world. There are diver-se sounds and vibes from one track to the next.”

Building off the success of their previous studio album, 2015’s ‘Paradise,’ which was dubbed “the warmest, most sublime and occasionally rowdiest Wood Brothers release yet,” by American Songwriter, the band found themselves at a fortuitous crossroads. Following a tour with Tedeschi Trucks Ba­­­­­nd, high profile festival dates and sold out headline shows, the band felt free from the cyclical album release, tour, write, record and do-it-all-over-again pressures of the traditional music business. With all three members living in Nashville affording easy access to each other and a wealth of local independent studios at their disposal, they started work in January of 2017 with a new approach.

“Instead of going into one studio and recording it all at the same time, we picked a couple studios, and started to experiment,” says Chris Wood. “Sometimes we’d just make demos of songs to see if we got anything we liked. There was no pressure, and that really freed us up. We just did one or two songs a day, put it aside, let the songs simmer, and then we’d have a fresh perspective on what was working or not working. You need time to go by to gain objectivity.”

The band extended this approach to the mixing process, sending tracks to four different mixing engineers, each selected based on what the song demanded. Scotty Hard (who’s worked extensively with Medeski Martin & Wood, among others) was recruited for the “edgier, funkier tunes,” “Sky High” and “Happiness Jones.” Mike Poole (who worked on The Wood Brothers album ‘The Muse’) mixed “Sparkling Wine” and “Strange As It Seems.” Their old friend Brandon Belle from Zac Brown’s studio Southern Ground took on “Laughin’ Or Crying.” The remainder of the album was mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer Trina Shoemaker, especially sought after by The Wood Brothers for her work with Brandi Carlile.

While the songs on ‘One Drop of Truth’ achieve the goal of standing on their own, a few common themes did, inevitably, emerge. Water—whether in a teardrop, a storm, a river or a libation—was being used as a metaphor in the search for truth and happiness. Chris Wood’s “Seasick Emotion,” one of two songs he sings on the collection serves as a prime example: “All the blue sky is gone / How can I get out of bed / This hurricane in my head / I’m just a boat in a storm / How can I know where to go / When everything that I know / Is already lost in the wind.”

“That one was written last fall during a hurricane, while at the same time the election was coming up, and there was all this crazy energy in the world,” Chris reveals. “I definitely got swept away emotionally by everything that was going on.”

Album opener, “River Takes the Town,” takes on both figurative and literal meaning. It was completed just as a series of hurricanes were decimating parts of the U.S.: “It’s been a few days since I heard any word from you / and I don’t sleep easy, I don’t sleep easy / and the rain keeps comin’, the rain keeps comin’ / nothin’s ever for certain / ’til the levee breaks down / the water comes in and the river / the river takes the town.”

“I remember hearing a news story about a flood in Shreveport, and I wrote the line ‘I hope the levee in Shreveport does what it’s supposed to do,’” explains Oliver. “I was writing literally, at first, about how scary it must be when people lose power and communication with those they love. But then the lyrics became a metaphor for something more interpersonal. And by the end of this summer, it seemed to take on new meaning yet again.”

Though emotional struggle is a recurring thread, so is the comforting truth of how much wisdom comes from the hard times. The song “Happiness Jones”, was based on a news article Oliver read about how our society is addicted to happiness, antidepressants, and the distorted “happy” reality social media can depict. As a result, people feel like it’s unnatural to be sad, yet. sadness can be a gift: “All of my wisdom came from all the toughest days / I never learned a thing bein’ happy / all of my sufferin’ came / I didn’t appreciate it / I never learned a thing being happy.”

While the majority of ‘One Drop of Truth’ was written and recorded as a group, the standout track “Strange As It Seems,” described by Chris as, “a classic Oliver song,” was an exception.

“I had recorded it a couple months before Chris and Jano added their parts, so I was excited to see what they would do with it. We talked a lot about it having a dreamlike quality to it. Chris has all these cool sound effects that he can make with the bowed bass, and then Jano played the melodica and the piano on it, and they added exactly the atmosphere that it needed,” explains Oliver. “Conceptually, I almost think of it like a Tim Burton movie, where you go to sleep, and you go into this dream world, to meet your lover, but you do so with purpose. You bring your wallet, you get dressed up, you’re going on a date. The idea being, that you rendezvous in the dream. One of my favorite things about any song is ambiguity, leaving it open to interpretation. Maybe the man and woman in this song are already married, and they’re on separate sides of the bed, and they’re disconnected, so they’re hoping to find a better version of a partner in their dreams. Or, maybe they are two lonely people, in separate places, finding each other in this dreamworld. But at the end of the song, the guy wakes up, and he goes down to the kitchen, and he’s with his wife and it’s a beautiful thing, and they dance in the light. So perhaps there’s also an element of hope, whether they’re lonely, or they’re disconnected, there’s still a connection there, sometimes you have to go to that other level to realize it.”

Fittingly titled, ‘One Drop of Truth,’ the latest entry in The Wood Brothers evolution finds three musicians being true to themselves. At a point in their career where most artists would be looking to strategically position themselves for even greater commercial success, they instead turned to artistic expression in service of the muse. In chaotic times when honesty is in short supply and ulterior motives seem to always be at play, The Wood Brothers put faith in themselves and ultimately their audience by writing and recording a collection of songs that is honest and pure. As they sing on the album’s title track: “Rather die hungry / than feasting on lies / Give me one drop of truth / I cannot deny.”

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