Bruce Hornsby’s upcoming album, Non-Secure Connection, contains a rerecorded duet with Leon Russell called “Anything Can Happen,” the title track to the late musician’s 1992 album. That version dropped Thursday in advance of Hornsby’s upcoming record, featuring an array of collaborators — from Russell to James Mercer.
Hornsby recently told Rolling Stone about the backstory to “Anything Can Happen,” which began with his participation in the magazine’s photo essay on musicians and their mentors, in the late Eighties. “I asked for Elton [John] but he’d already been picked, so I went to Leon; those are the two guys who got me interested in piano,” Hornsby recalled. “So for two days on Rolling Stone’s dime, I flew to Leon’s place in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and we got to be friends.”
After Hornsby got Russell a deal with Virgin Records, he was asked to write him a song. “At one point he looks at me and says, ‘Hey, Bruce, write me a Barry White track.’ Wow. That’s an interesting assignment. Barry White likes sort of lounge-y chords, so I came up with this track.”
“I thought the original was just badass,” Hornsby said of “Anything Can Happen.” “I always wanted to recut it. And the time came to do that. It’s got Leon’s vocal from that original rough mix, and then he emerges to sing full force with me and sing harmonies. My vocal is completely about me doing my Leon Russell imitation.”