Watch bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs and piano-pop icon Bruce Hornsby perform "The Way It Is" from their collaborative album, Cluck Ol' Hen. The original recording of the song, which was the title track for Hornsby's 1986 multi-platinum album, is a relatively straightforward pop ballad featuring bright piano chords and well-formed arrangements. The bluegrass-infused rendition above, courtesy of Mr. Skaggs' mandolin-playing and a rapidly-plucked banjo, retains Hornsby's cohesiveness but also adds some pep to the song's step.
Hornsby's classic smooth and elongated vocals seem, at times, slightly out of place against the upbeat honky tonk rhythms, but the two musicians are experts in the art of improvisation. It also doesn't hurt that Hornsby and Skaggs have collaborated before. In an interview with Billboard regarding their chemistry, Hornsby stated, "For me, it starts with the fact that we both have the same sense of humor. It's just a couple of guys relating to each other musically, but also personally." If you enjoyed the southern twang of this performance, you can purchase other live recordings from Cluck Ol' Hen via iTunes.
Via: Conan O'Brien Show