Bruce Hornsby talks Funhouse Fest

Williamsburg native and musical maestro Bruce Hornsby is gearing up for the return of Funhouse Fest, his three-day music festival in the city. Hornsby held a press conference Wednesday, during which he discussed curating artists for the event, what it’s like performing in his hometown and more.

As the festival’s opening act, Hornsby and his Noisemakers will perform each of their 14 songs that made their way onto the Billboard charts. Hornsby and the Noisemakers will return to the stage on Saturday to perform Grateful Dead tunes, and on Sunday Hornsby will conclude with a duo performance alongside Noisemaker drummer, Sonny Emory.

“My life is broad,” Hornsby said. That translates to his music, which spans rock, jazz, bluegrass, classical and more. With the the rest of the festival lineup, he hopes to capture the spirit of that diversity.

Fellow Grammy-winner Sheryl Crow also headlines Friday. Lake Street Dive, the Staves, yMusic and Kenny Garrett round out Saturday. Rhiannon Giddens, the Staves and Hiss Golden Messenger perform Sunday.

Hornsby spoke about his experiences meeting fellow headliner Sheryl Crow, back when she was a background singer for Don Henley. They later reconnected at Henley’s wedding, and Hornsby remains a fan of her pop and country tunes.

“She’s a fantastic singer/songwriter,” Hornsby said, lauding the variety she adds to the festival.

This year's festival also introduces a second, smaller stage for more intimate performances, like an orchestral quartet featuring members of the Virginia Symphony.

As for returning home, Hornsby said playing for fellow locals can add extra pressure. But there’s another angle to consider, too.

“It hits me a little bit when people say, ‘Thank you for doing this in Williamsburg,’” he said. “That’s a nice thing. I’m just trying to be good. I’m just trying to bring something that I’m proud of, that I can stand behind aesthetically, artistically.”

Funhouse Fest runs June 23-25 on the lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. For tickets and more information, visit funhousefest.com.

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