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Bruce Hornsby Busy with Music, Film, Broadway Musical

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A new album, a new label, a Broadway play and a cameo in a Robin Williams film are keeping multi-Grammy winning artist Bruce Hornsby busy for 2009.

“Levitate," Hornsby's 12-song set, is slated for a September 15 release via Verve and finds the multi-instrumentalist collaborating with his band the Noisemakers on their first recordings together since 2004's “Halcyon Days.” Eric Clapton guests on the song “Space is the Place,” and Deadheads will relish in the song “Cyclone,” on which Hornsby worked with long-time Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.

Hornsby says the material on “Levitate” was actually born after he received an unexpected letter in 2005 from Playwrights Horizons, which was convinced that three tunes from “Halcyon Days" -- “What The Hell Happened,” “Hooray For Tom,” and “Heir Gordon” -- sounded like Broadway tunes. “They were writing the letter to try and commission me to write a play,” Hornsby tells Billboard.com. “So I said to them, “what the hell, I'll give it a try, as long as its fun.” Hornsby has since been working on a musical called “SCKBSTD," and he says that fully eight of the new album's twelve songs are from the show.

While Hornsby's song catalog has always run the gamut in terms of genres, he says, “I feel a freedom when I'm writing for the theater. A couple of the songs that I'm most proud of are 'Paperboy' and 'Michael Raphael' because they are dealing with harmony in a more adventurous, advanced way than on the standard pop song.”

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This story appears courtesy of Billboard Magazine.
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