Bruce Hornsby has an appetite for the unusual that may surprise those who know him best for his 1986 smash hit "The Way It Is." His latest album, Absolute Zero, features a "bitonal pop song" where Hornsby plays in different keys with each hand. Another song is based on the sounds made by found objects in his studio. The album also features collaborations with artists who are known for pushing boundaries themselves. There's production from Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and contributions from the experimental chamber ensemble yMusic and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.
When Hornsby stopped by the Cafe, we talked about his long-standing appreciation for modern classical music and how film cues he composed for director Spike Lee formed the basis for Absolute Zero. He also shared stories from touring with Grateful Dead and his theory on what makes them such a beloved band.