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Ossumpei
Platinum Boarder
Posts:2753

Re: Going to see Hornsby Tonight

#33127 3 years, 3 months ago
He was playing this really cool dulcimer. He uses it on a couple of songs from the new album. Sorry the pics are so blurry. You could go right up to stage and have time for a few pics. I was in the middle of having fun and my hands were shaky. In the light it was tough to get a good one.

Dude seems pretty fan friendly and just like a nice guy.
Let us all look kindly on our neighbor.
intothesun
Visitor

Re: Going to see Hornsby Tonight

#33193 3 years, 3 months ago
Yes, the cajun sound he does do well. Songs like iko iko and china cat - hes great on everything he played with the dead. i appreciate someone having a normal conversation and not being offended as many morons on this site become when you disagree with them. But can i ask you this....how many times have you seen Hornsby with the dead and how many times have you seen Brent?? ...just curious. I could see someone saying pigpen was then best or Keith, but even over brent (the greatest organ player ever) ? And i have this opinion as a huge fan of Bruce hornsby - he's by far one of my favorite artists. aside from all our opinions...HOW WAS THE SHOW? what were the highlights? Hope you had a ball!!
Ossumpei
Platinum Boarder
Posts:2753

Re: Going to see Hornsby Tonight

#33409 3 years, 3 months ago
I've seen Brent 5 times and Hornsby 4. I still have a ton of cassettes with Brent that I have listened to for years till cd's came out, so I'm definitely very familiar with his work. I never was that thrilled with the organ work, just not my cup of tea. I just like the piano more.

The show came about in an odd manner. I just cleared a major obstacle at work, and found out Friday at 3:00. My mood changed from worried to exuberant, and at the last minute I decided to go to the show. I found a little something I had left over from the last Further show I went to. My sweetie offered to drive, and coming to get me after, even though she didn't go So my night was set.

Hornsby played some stuff from his new album, and some stuff I wasn't very familiar with. I could tell the new stuff had a lot of the similar groove of his earlier recordings. Not being familiar with it, I told myself that with time I could grow to like it. After most of the show with the newer stuff he broke out some of his classics. A beautiful End of the Innocence. Some dulcimer and accordion work were nice to see. He teased a Brokedown Palace, and played a full Black Muddy River. He seems to have to play some of his well known songs and Mandolin Rain and The Way It Is. All in all I didn't have the emotional connection with a lot of the songs, not being very familiar with them. But the key work was spectacular as always. My mood was very good and the venue was very chill, and not crowded. I ended up sitting right in front, just off the dance floor, with ga tickets. It was a fun evening, and I definitely will go to see him again.
Let us all look kindly on our neighbor.
Ossumpei
Platinum Boarder
Posts:2753

Re: Going to see Hornsby Tonight

#33410 3 years, 3 months ago
When many folks hear the name Bruce Hornsby, they automatically hark back to his string of pop radio hits in the mid-1980s with his original band, the Range. Yet Hornsby is so much more as a musician and songwriter than that string of hits.

I admittedly never gave Hornsby much time or thought during the heyday of his popularity, when I was still in high school. Rather, my late fandom came in the early 1990s, when Hornsby joined the Grateful Dead as a replacement pianist/keyboardist for the late Brent Mydland after his untimely death.

Playing with the Grateful Dead gave Hornsby a unique opportunity to step outside his usual boundaries and his pop star persona to explore his more improvisational side and new possibilities for his own solo sound -- an opportunity that would have a lasting effect on his musical career. Since his two-year stint with the Grateful Dead, I've seen Hornsby many times over, and have never regretted it.

Hornsby and the Noisemakers, his band for the last decade, returned to St. Louis and the Pageant Friday night, on tour promoting their new double live compilation release Bride of the Noisemakers. True fans know that the Virginia native has a soft spot for St. Louis -- he's an avid Cardinals baseball fan and comes here frequently to see games and hang out with his buddy Tony La Russa -- and he's known to always give one of his favorite cities a great show.

Chicago funk/rock/soul outfit Lubriphonic got the crowd properly "lubricated" with its upbeat, horn-laden sound. By the time the band finished its set to the sound of enthusiastic applause and cheers, the rapidly filling house was ready to party.

Hornsby and the Noisemakers took the stage promptly at 9 p.m., starting out with a funky piano tune from last year's Levitate called "Simple Prayer." Our prime spot in the center of the balcony allowed for a bird's-eye view of Hornsby's quick-moving fingers on the keys of his Steinway Grand piano, which would light up across the front as he laid the chords down effortlessly, sometimes even one-handed while facing the crowd.

Probably the best thing about seeing Hornsby live is watching the sheer, almost boyish, exuberance he seems to get out of performing for his fans. He has such a relaxed, easy way about him onstage that immediately draws people in as part of the show rather than simply being spectators. He freely banters with the audience, never minding their interjections, and even taking requests.

Hornsby delighted long-time fans with a trio of songs from what might be his best solo record, 1998's Spirit Trail, including "See the Same Way" and "Preacher in the Ring" Parts 1 and 2 -- two very different, back-to-back versions of the same song, featuring a gospel-inspired organ solo by John "J.T." Thomas.

He then slowed things down for a laid-back version of 80s classic "The End of the Innocence," a song written by Hornsby and made popular by the Eagles' Don Henley. There is something undeniably classy about Hornsby as a performer, particularly during songs like this one. He has no need for elaborate costumes, staging or backdrops -- just his piano, his voice and his incredible skills as a musician and songwriter.

He brought the tempo back up for pop-driven "Space is the Place" from Levitate, then left the piano to take a chair center-stage and perform a solo on the dulcimer, the sweet "Shadow Hand" from Spirit Trail. After giving a quick plug for his Saturday appearance at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, he picked the dulcimer back up for a full-band performance of twangy "Prairie Dog Town."

Continuing the display of his multi-instrumental abilities, Hornsby next strapped on his accordion, which he plays as adeptly as the full-size keyboard. Grateful Dead fans in the audience always get a kick out of his accordion solos, which he was frequent to play at Dead shows.
The band ended their main set with a strong performance of classic Bruce Hornsby and the Range song, "Across the River." After graciously thanking the audience, they retreated backstage; but fans remained front and center, knowing Hornsby wouldn't be gone long as he always gives full encores.

The full band quickly returned amid cheers from the diverse crowd, which ranged from young children to folks in their sixties and seventies. Hornsby continued the old-school vibe with what is probably his most well known hit, "Mandolin Rain." To the delight of resident Deadheads, this morphed into a tease of the Dead's "Brokedown Palace," followed by "Black Muddy River," a particularly spiritual Jerry Garcia tune and the last song he sang live with the Dead before his death in 1995.

This combination of "Mandolin Rain" and "Black Muddy River" is something Hornsby frequently plays live -- in homage to Garcia, whom he grew very close to and who had a great impact on his musical style. It always elicits a highly emotional reaction from the crowd and the two songs easily marry, flowing in and out of each other, ending with the combined lyrics "Listen to the mandolin rain, by the black muddy river."

With emotions running high, Hornsby continued with another classic and probably his most political song, "The Way it Is," a statement on unemployment and hard times that resonates perhaps even more today than it did in 1986. However, he changed it up from the original, somewhat somber version to a more bluegrass style inspired by his collaboration with Ricky Skaggs.

He then grabbed his accordion once more to end the show with upbeat fan-favorite "Rainbow's Cadillac," closing out the encore standing like the "king of the hill" atop his grand piano. He then gave nods to the band, graciously shook a few hands and waved, grinning like a kid as he exited stage left.

kdhx.org/music/reviews/concert-review-br...geant-friday-june-10
Let us all look kindly on our neighbor.
SunshineSue
Platinum Boarder
Posts:31928
Life is sweeter for this!

Re: Going to see Hornsby Tonight

#33417 3 years, 3 months ago
Thanks so much for the great review! Bruce could never come close to Brent on the Hammond B3, IMHO, but I've always liked both his playing and his voice a lot. And he has my eternal gratitude for the kind, wonderful way he was able to slide into the band after Brent passed. He certainly kept the music playing at a tough time!
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