Bruce Hornsby Discusses His Adventurous Compositions and Collaborations on Nakedly Examined Music

Bruce Horns­by is best known for his first album The Way It Is (1986), but has come light years since then through 18+ albums, exper­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent styles, play­ing over 100 shows with the Grate­ful Dead, and scor­ing numer­ous projects for Spike Lee. He’s won three Gram­mys and record­ed with music roy­al­ty includ­ing Elton John, Ornette Cole­man, Bran­ford Marsalis, Willie Nel­son, Bob Dylan, etc.

On this episode of Naked­ly Exam­ined Music, host Mark Lin­sen­may­er and Bruce dis­cuss “Side­lines” (feat. Ezra Koenig from Vam­pire Week­end) from ‘Flict­ed (2022), “My Resolve” (feat. James Mer­cer of The Shins) from Non-Secure Con­nec­tion (2020), and a new live ver­sion of “Shad­ow Hand” from the 25th Anniver­sary Edi­tion of Spir­it Trail. End song: “Cast-Off” (feat. Justin Ver­non of Bon Iver) from Absolute Zero (2019). Intro: “The Way It Is” (Live from Köln, 2019). Learn more at and

Here, of course, is the orig­i­nal “The Way It is.” Lis­ten to the 2019 NYC Epi­cen­ters ver­sion in full. My favorite sin­gle from that first album was “Every Lit­tle Kiss.” An ear­ly tune recent­ly fea­tured promi­nent­ly in the sec­ond sea­son of the TV show The Bear is “The Show Goes On.”  You may or may not recall that Bruce co-wrote Don Henley’s hit “The End of the Inno­cence”; watch Bruce play that live with sev­er­al jazz greats. Hear the orig­i­nal 1998 ver­sion of “Shad­ow Hand.” Bruce’s 2004 “Hal­cy­on Days” fea­tures both Sting and Eric Clap­ton.

The track that Bruce co-wrote for Bon Iver’s album is “U (Man Like).” Watch the video for “Days Ahead,” anoth­er sin­gle from Bruce’s newest album ‘Flict­edHere’s the video for “Side­lines.” Watch a lyric video for “Cast-Off.” Watch Bruce and James Mer­cer per­form­ing “My Resolve” over the Inter­net dur­ing the pan­dem­ic.

Watch Bruce play piano with The Grate­ful Dead in 1991. Lis­ten to Oth­er Ones (Grate­ful Dead after Jer­ry Garcia’s death) play a clas­sic Horns­by tune, “White-Wheeled Lim­ou­sine,” live in 1998. His own ver­sion of that (from 1995’s Hot House), fea­tured Pat Methe­ny and Béla Fleck. Watch him live in 2012 with Bob Weir and Bran­ford Marsalis play­ing his tune “Stand­ing on the Moon.”

Lis­ten to Bruce on The Art of Longevi­ty pod­castHere he is on Soda­jerk­er. Bruce’s appear­ance on Ezra Koenig’s Time Cri­sis pod­cast is on #126, and you may be able to hear it with an Apple Music sub­scrip­tion.

Pho­to by Kat Fish­er.

Naked­ly Exam­ined Music is a pod­cast host­ed by Mark Lin­sen­may­er, who also hosts The Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life Phi­los­o­phy Pod­cast, Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast, and Phi­los­o­phy vs. Improv. He releas­es music under the name Mark Lint.

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