Bruce Langhorne (born c. 1938) is an American folk musician. He was active in the Greenwich Village folk scene in the 1960s, primarily as a session guitarist for folk albums and performances. He lost the fifth and fourth fingers on his right hand in an accident when seven years old, contributing to his distinctive finger picking style.
Langhorne worked with many of the major performers in the Folk Revival of the 1950s and 1960s, including The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem, Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Carolyn Hester, Peter LaFarge, Gordon Lightfoot, Hugh Masekela, Odetta, Babatunde Olatunji, Peter, Paul and Mary, Richard and Mimi Fariña, Tom Rush, and Buffy Sainte-Marie.
The title character of Bob Dylan's song "Mr. Tambourine Man" is inspired by Langhorne, who used to play a large Turkish frame drum in performances and recordings. The drum, which Langhorne had purchased in a music store in Greenwich Village, had small bells attached around its interior, giving it a jingling sound much like a tambourine. Langhorne used the instrument most prominently with Richard and Mimi Fariña. The drum is now in the collection of Seattle's Experience Music Project.
In addition to inspiring the title character of "Mr. Tambourine Man", Langhorne played the electric guitar countermelody on the song. His guitar is also prominent on several other songs on Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home album, particularly "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" and "She Belongs to Me", but also "Subterranean Homesick Blues", "Outlaw Blues", "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" and "Maggie's Farm", on which he played the lead guitar part. He also played the guitar with Dylan for Dylan's television performances of "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue on The Les Crane Show in February 1965, a month after the Bringing It All Back Home sessions. Two years earlier, Langhorne had performed on Dylan's The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan on "Corrina, Corrina" as well as the outtake "Mixed-Up Confusion" that was eventually released on Biograph. Years later, Langhorne also played on tracks for Dylan's Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid.
Langhorne composed the highly distinctive music for the cult Peter Fonda western film The Hired Hand (1971), which combined sitar, fiddle, and banjo to great effect. He also provided the scores for Fonda's 1973 science fiction film Idaho Transfer and his 1976 vigilante movie Fighting Mad. Other films which featured Langhorne's scores included Stay Hungry (1976), Melvin and Howard (1980) and Night Warning (1982).
In 1992 Langhorne founded a hot sauce company known as Brother Bru-Bru's African Hot Sauce. The hot sauce is unique for containing "African Spices" and all-natural or organic, no/low-sodium ingredients.
Bruce attended the Horace Mann School for a year in 1954-5.
- Bro Bru-Bru site
- Allmusic entry
- Illustrated Bruce Langhorne discography
- Bruce Langhorne interview (part 1)
- Bruce Langhorne interview (part 2)
- Bruce Langhorne interview (part 3)
- Bruce Langhorne page from Richard and Mimi site