Bruce Hornsby Unveils Previously Unreleased Song, Live Track & Remastered ‘Sunflower Cat’ From ‘Spirit Trail’ Reissue

Stream “Living In The Sunshine,” “Swan Song (Live)” and “Sunflower Cat” from the forthcoming Spirit Trail 25th Anniversary Edition.

By Scott Bernstein Sep 8, 2023 11:10 am PDT

Bruce Hornsby laid out details of Spirit Trail 25th Anniversary Edition, a reissue of his famed 1998 double album set to arrive via Zappo Productions/Thirty Tigers on October 27. The legendary keyboardist previewed the forthcoming set by sharing the previously unreleased track “Living In The Sunshine,” a live version of “Swan Song” and newly remastered audio of “Sunflower Cat (Some Dour Cat) (Down With That).”

Spirit Trail 25th Anniversary Edition is coming digitally and as 3-CD and 3-LP releases. The 3-CD set brings together a freshly remastered copy of the original double album along with four previously unreleased songs and 10 never-before-heard live tracks. The set will be accompanied by a 36-page book containing new liner notes penned by Hornsby, lyrics and Danny Clinch’s photography all housed in a clamshell box.

As for the 3-LP set, it will consist of the original double album and four previously unreleased songs laid in a tri-fold package complete with an insert featuring lyrics and notes from Bruce. Bob Ludwig was tapped to master the original album and bonus material while Chris Muth cut lacquers for the LP set.

Spirit Trail was Bruce Hornsby’s sixth studio album and first given the anniversary reissue treatment. Hornsby was asked why he decided to reissue the album during a conversation with journalist Parke Puterbaugh. Bruce explained the multiple reasons, telling Puterbaugh:

“Probably two or three things. One, it’s come to my attention over the years that for my true fans – devotees who’ve followed me through this crazy and stylistically peripatetic journey I’ve taken – this record is their favorite. Two, 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. So third, we’re trying to get the word out again, shine a light now on something we thought was pretty special.”

“Living In The Sunshine” and the three other previously unreleased studio tracks were supposed to land on what Hornsby devotees note as his “lost album” that Bruce decided to pass over and instead issued the more “modern sounding” Big Swing Face in 2002. “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 a lot 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,” Bruce Hornsby said of the collection dubbed Lost And Found On The Spirit Trail.

“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?’” Hornsby added. The live “Swan Song” is one of 10 Spirit Trail songs played live included in the forthcoming reissue. “Sunflower Cat (Some Dour Cat) (Down With That)” includes elements of the Grateful Dead’s “China Cat Sunflower” and is a live favorite.

Listen to all three tracks from the forthcoming reissue below along with dates for the recently launched Spirit Trail 25th Anniversary Tour:

Living In The Sunshine

Swan Song (Live)

Sunflower Cat (Some Dour Cat) (Down With That)

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Spirit Trail 25th Anniversary Edition Tracklist

Original Album

  1. King Of The Hill
  2. Resting Place
  3. Preacher In The Ring Pt. I
  4. Preacher In The Ring Pt. II
  5. Song C
  6. Sad Moon
  7. Pete & Manny
  8. Fortunate Son
  9. Sneaking Up On Boo Radley
  10. Great Divide
  11. Line In The Dust
  12. See The Same Way
  13. Shadow Hand
  14. Sunlight Moon
  15. Listen To The Silence
  16. Funhouse
  17. Sunflower Cat (Some Dour Cat) (Down With That)
  18. Song D
  19. Swan Song
  20. Variations On Swan Song & Song D

Lost And Found On The Spirit Trail

  1. Living In The Sunshine
  2. Groove Infatuation
  3. Evening Sun
  4. Clown’s Tambourine

Live Trail

  1. King Of The Hill [Live]
  2. Resting Place [Live]
  3. Preacher In The Ring (Part 1)/Variation 2 (Webern)/Catenaires (Carter) Excerpt [Live]
  4. Fortunate Son [Live]
  5. Sneaking Up On Boo Radley [Live]
  6. See The Same Way [Live]
  7. Shadow Hand [Live]
  8. Funhouse [Live]
  9. Sunflower Cat [Live]
  10. Swan Song [Live]
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