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Bruce Hornsby Returns With 'Halcyon Days' - 2004-08-21

You never know what singer, songwriter and piano great Bruce Hornsby is going to do next. Hornsby probably doesn't even know himself. Since 1986, he's released a variety of albums; nine to be exact. And, although most are rock or pop based, it wouldn't be a Bruce Hornsby album without a few surprises. VOA's Doug Levine fills us in on an older, wiser Hornsby and his new CD, "Halcyon Days."

It's been two years since Bruce Hornsby has had a new release, and more than 17 years since he took home the Grammy Award for Best New Artist with his group The Range. If there's a theme to his latest album, it might be the passing of time, good memories of the past and hopeful thoughts for the future. "Great days," he says, "beautiful, peaceful days when they happen in these times."

Bruce Hornsby says "Dreamland" is a song he wrote to help one of his young sons fall asleep at night; a modern lullaby featuring vocals by Elton John and gospel singer Lloyd Jones.

With Bruce Hornsby turning 50 years-old in November, it was time to compose an album of songs about getting older. Hornsby says, "Most of this record is influenced by me being a parent, my experiences as a parent and worrying about my kids." In "Lost In The Snow", he imagines what it would be like to be a kid himself again.

Whether he's playing rock with The Grateful Dead, bluegrass with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, or jazz with Pat Metheny and Branford Marsalis, three-time Grammy winner Bruce Hornsby is one of today's most generous performers. Over the years, he's appeared on dozens of albums, with everyone from Bob Dylan to Willie Nelson.

In support of the album, The Bruce Hornsby Band is currently on tour in the United States. The band will play 10 dates in Europe during September, followed by Hornsby's solo concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City on October 28.

Also featured on Halcyon Days are Eric Clapton and Sting, who perform on the title track and the album's first single, "Gonna Be Some Changes Made".