Schenectady’s Bruce Hornsby coming to Troy Music Hall February 28th
The following article from Greg Haymes on September 29, 2009, was clever enough to bring back 10 years later to announce Bruce Hornsby‘s upcoming show at Troy Music Hall with the talent ensemble yMusic.
No, piano man Bruce Hornsby wasn’t born in Schenectady. In fact, he’s never lived in Schenectady, either. But still, it wouldn’t be incorrect to describe him as “formerly of Schenectady.” Confused?
Well, we’ll let Bruce Hornsby explain the off-the-wall musical explorations of his high school years to you himself:
“I used to have a band named Schenectady, where if you knew how to play an instrument, you weren’t allowed to play it. We played such notable songs as ‘Man Is the Animal That Uses Tools,’ ‘Curse You, Niels Bohr’ and ‘There’s More to Doing Homework Than Doing Work at Home.’
There’s more to doing homework than doing work at home
It’s a challenge/With my interesting work I could fill a tome
Homework carries you beyond
It takes you to Savannah
Without my homework, my mouth would surely foam.
We used to describe our music as ‘circus rock.’ I was the only one in the band who was allowed to play an instrument that they could actually play because there had to be some semblance of order, over which everyone could just blaaaad and blow their butts off.
Those songs that I mentioned are from the musical plays that we wrote. We wrote a play about our band, called ‘Schenectady.’ And then we wrote a sequel to it called ‘The Son of Schenectady.’
In fact, you can go to the rare book archives of the College of William and Mary Library and find all of this chronicled in a magazine called ‘Piano Monthly,’ which had nothing to do with pianos. It had a couple of wrestlers on the cover.
Why Schenectady? Well, back then, it was a time when it was popular to name bands after towns, Chicago, of course, being the most notable example. So we thought, ‘Schenectady! What better?’ We thought it was quite a name.”
Bruce Hornsby, the creatively insatiable pianist and singer-songwriter from Williamsburg, Virginia, always has succeeded on his exceptional gifts, his training, and his work ethic. He became a global name in music by reimagining American roots forms as songs that moved with the atmospheric grace of jazz. “The Way It Is” defined sonic joy on the radio, however as a hit record it also evidenced a thrilling re-structuring, and during the years afterward Hornsby, in staggeringly diverse ways, has kept going.
He has returned to traditional American roots forms, collaborating with Ricky Skaggs. He has played with the Grateful Dead. He has fused the plunk and dazzle of twentieth-century modernist classical composition to singer-songwriter emotional inquiries. He has scored films. He has performed with symphony orchestras. If the sound of an arrogant air-conditioner or a stretch of rude playing caught his ear, he has entered the hallowed doors of the conservatories of punk. So when Hornsby describes Absolute Zero, his new album, as “a compendium of what I like and moves me,” don’t expect perhaps