Next month, the veteran atmosphere-conjurer and Grateful Dead/Spike Lee collaborator Bruce Hornsby will release his new album Non-Secure Connection. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, a longtime Hornsby admirer and recent collaborator, co-produced the LP with Brad Cook and Wayne Pooley, and it features some big guests. We’ve already posted lead single “My Resolve,” which finds Hornsby teaming up with the Shins’ James Mercer. Today, Hornsby gets together with a couple of truly gifted artists on another joint.
The new single “Bright Star Cast” features Chicago soul singer/songwriter Jamila Woods and Living Colour guitar hero Vernon Reid. (Unless I’m forgetting something, this is the first time that the double-Vernon connection of Justin Vernon and Vernon Reid has ever worked together on anything.) “Bright Star Cast” is a smooth, funky, percussive song that brings a utopian message and gives all its musicians chances to put in serious work.
In a press release, Hornsby says, “This attempt marks the seventh song of my career that deals with the issue of race in America, a deep, seemingly intractable problem that never seems to be solved in any satisfactory way — until, hopefully, now.” Hornsby and Woods both sing on the song, and the lyrics are elliptical but optimistic: “We are all wanderers/ We are diaspora bound/ We all strive and strain, through hail and rain/ Songs louder than bombs.” Listen below.