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Published: 2015/01/26

Bruce Hornsby on Grateful Dead Anniversary Shows: "I instantly wanted to do it"

Bruce Hornsby took some time yesterday to answer questions and discuss the upcoming Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago on Sirius XM’s Tales From the Golden Road. As JamBase points out, Hornsby dished on a variety of topics regarding the shows including his personal outlook, his thoughts on Trey Anastasio’s selection and how he will mesh with Jeff Chimenti on stage.

“I instantly wanted to do it,” Hornsby said. “It’s a deep thing, from a personal, historical perspective for me. In the 29 years since the release of my first record, I’ve been really fortunate to have received so many calls to collaborate with amazing musicians and artists. There are three that are the deepest and most enduring ones, and they cover a pretty broad spectrum stylistically. One is Spike Lee, then there’s Ricky Skaggs and of course the Grateful Dead, probably the most intense of these collaborative ventures, since ’87 when I first started opening for them.”

On Anastasio, Hornsby said, “We both love the Grateful Dead songbook, but we try to express ourselves within that music, and not try to replicate. We’ve only played together once, at the Berkeley Greek Theater concert, we did ‘Standing on the Moon.’ He’d never heard the song, and he did a fine job.”

He continued, discussing Chimenti, “I don’t know if we’ve played much together but he’s a fantastic piano player. He could easily have the chair covered; I think they probably want me as much for the vocal end of it as the playing. Jeff will be playing organ and if I go to the accordion and do my Clifton Chenier imitation, maybe he’ll jump on the piano. I’m totally game for whatever happens. But Jeff’s a great musician and he’s been around the post-Grateful Dead world for many years now.”

Fare Thee Well, a three-night run celebrating the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary, kicks off July 3 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

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