Iconic musician Bruce Hornsby is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his legendary double album, “Spirit Trail,” with a special reissue, and a subsequent tour. The 25th Anniversary Edition of the album will be available online and two physical versions: a 3-CD set and a 3-LP set. This album, originally released in 1998, features twenty tracks that delve into themes of race, religion, judgment, and tolerance.
The 3-CD set includes the original double album, along with four previously unreleased songs and over 70 minutes of previously unavailable live performances. The collection comes in a clamshell box and contains a 36-page book featuring new liner notes by Bruce, lyrics, and photography by Danny Clinch. The 3-LP set comprises the original double album and the four unreleased songs, packaged in a tri-fold jacket with a 4-page insert featuring lyrics and liner notes by Bruce. All the original album and bonus material are mastered by Bob Ludwig, with lacquers for the LP set cut by Chris Muth.
Reflecting on the decision to reissue “Spirit Trail,” Bruce Hornsby states, “For my true fans, devotees who’ve followed me through this crazy and stylistically diverse journey I’ve taken, this record is their favorite.” He continues, “It’s the record from my more distant past that personally holds up best for me. It’s the first record where I thought the singing has aged well, and I’m still very proud of the songwriting on it. We’re trying to get the word out again, shine a light on something we thought was pretty special.”
To celebrate this announcement, Hornsby has shared three new songs from the additional material included in the reissue: “Living In The Sunshine,” a previously unreleased track, a live version of “Swan Song,” and a newly remastered “Sunflower Cat.” These additional tracks come from what has been referred to as Hornsby’s “lost album,” which he shelved in favor of the more “modern-sounding” “Big Swing Face.” Hornsby states, “These were not just demos with a drum machine or solo piano demos. They featured my band playing. There was mostly piano, bass, and drums on many of them, but there was also guitar on a couple, and I’d thrown some organ on one of them. So I felt it was fairly far along. These were rough mixes but they were fairly close, at least in conception, to me. I’m glad these songs are coming out because they’re fun to play, and I think a certain fan of mine will go, ‘Why doesn’t he do this more?'”
The “Spirit Trail” tour has also begun, with Hornsby and his full band, The Noisemakers, embarking on a U.S. tour throughout September. This tour includes stops at festivals such as the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and the XPoNential Music Festival. In October and November, Hornsby will continue to tour solo, with an “Evening With” style show at the brand new Uptown Theatre in Minneapolis on October 20th.