Bruce Hornsby music has been a staple on radio play lists since he first hit the music scene in 1986 with "The Way it is".
Bruce Hornsby music has been a product of the songwriting team of both Bruce and his brother John Hornsby. The brothers Hornsby spent 3 years in the early 80's as staff writers in Los Angeles for 20th Century Fox which then was followed by songwriting collaboration for Bruce's solo career with "Bruce Honsby and the Range". Bruce Hornsby lyrics are typically thought-provoking, socially-aware lyrics interpersed with descriptive references to his Virginia homeland.
In 1986, Bruce had his first top 10 single with the song "The Way It Is" performed with his band "Bruce Hornsby and the Range."
As a teenager, Hornsby gravitated to the guitar although as he puts it "not too seriously". With a grand piano at home, he began playing songs "by ear" and his initial and continuing influence was Leon Russell. With time spent between basketball games and piano music, his adolescence was followed by formal musical training at Boston's Berkley College of Music and the renowned University of Miami Department of Music. Addditional pianists he has cited as influencing his playing style include Elton John, Bill Evans, Charles Ives, Steve Winwood and of course his initial influence, Leon Russell.
Bruce Hornsby's strongest talent lies in his improvisational abilities and generally speaking, he is first and foremost a jazz-influenced pianist. In a recent magazine article, Hornsby mentions that "he has always been too "jazzy" for the quote "pop players" and too "popy" for jazz players! which seems to suit him fine as his "self-proclaimed" mission in music has been to meld all of these influences and styles together for the enjoyment and edification of his audience. More so than any other pop/rock pianist, Bruce Hornsby is inspired to "perfect" his skill at the keyboard and he has been known to "woodshed" (concentrated practicing) for hours and hours at a time. He cites as his inspiration for this musical agenda, a myriad of bluegrass and jazz instrumental virtuosos who continuously strive for "musical perfection".