Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Here Come the Noise Makers
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Since Bruce Hornsby first infiltrated the pop landscape in 1986 with the year's most socially conscious ballad, the Virginia native has proven himself to be a gifted singer-songwriter, piano player, and bandleader. All of ... more »
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Since Bruce Hornsby first infiltrated the pop landscape in 1986 with the year's most socially conscious ballad, the Virginia native has proven himself to be a gifted singer-songwriter, piano player, and bandleader. All of those talents are much in evidence on this double CD of live material culled from his band's last two years on the road. A pianist with the chops to evoke everyone from Keith Jarrett and McCoy Tyner to Floyd Cramer and Vince Guaraldi, Hornsby takes a number of opportunities to stretch out here, including a solo introduction to his breakthrough hit, "The Way It Is," that explains why he almost ended up on the Windham Hill label. Not surprisingly, the latter-day Grateful Dead sideman also gives his band plenty of instrumental slack, which can make lengthy workouts like "Spider Fingers" a bit daunting for pop listeners. But devotees of Hornsby's more straightforward material will still find much to love here, including haunting renditions of "The End of the Innocence" (written with Don Henley) and Hornsby's more recent "Fortunate Son" (not to be confused with the Creedence song). There's not much that could be called noise here, but Here Come the Noise Makers proves Hornsby is still a jack-of-all-trades and master of many. --Bill Forman
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For the fans
berkeleybuck | Oakland, CA USA | 10/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Are you a Bruce Hornsby fan? Do you like his older stuff with the Range? The new, jazzier songs with ten minute intros? Have you most recently seen Bruce touring with the Dead? If any of these fit you, this is the album for you. At over 135 minutes, this is Bruce at his best, riffing and playing your favorites as you've never heard them before. Note well: this is not a "best of" collection--all of the songs are altered in some way, because Bruce has been jamming with the Grateful Dead and playing the hottest jazz clubs in the U.S. to extend his range (no pun). I've seen Bruce in many different venues over the years, and most recently on two of his tours to Yoshi's in Oakland; this 2CD collection captures the best of Bruce's live performances. He plays songs that never got radio play (Red Plains and Stander on the Mountain, for example), as well as covers of musical icons (Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, George Gershwin). Jacob's Ladder won Bruce a Grammy, and here you hear the writer interpret his own song. He does hit a few of the classic radio releases (The Way It Is, Mandolin Rain, Valley Road), but they are vastly different from the studio album versions. He includes songs from all of his previous albums, as well as his Dead phase and jazz club phase--the album reflects his career as his fans have seen it develop. If you only think of early eighties Bruce Hornsby, or have only heard him as part of the Further Festival, this is your chance to experience the breadth of his talents, unconfined by a studio and reflective of the joy he has playing for his fans. Thanks, Bruce."
Hornsby's New Live CD Lives Creativity
Dennis M.Cashman | Wallingford, CT United States | 11/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having just seen Bruce in concert the other evening in Connecticut, and listening to this latest 2-CD live set, I have a fresh comparison of the two performances. Rarely does a live album so fully exemplify the true flavor of a Bruce Hornsby concert. (I've seen three, and have successfully hooked my 16 year old daughter on Bruce.) If you buy live or greatest hits CD's to have a single source compilation of your favorite songs of the artist, this one is not for you. Not a "greatest hits" CD, you buy this recording to experience the full creative musical genius, (Bruce never plays a song the same way twice), his mastery of the piano, unmatched by any other contemporary artist today, and Bruce's wonderful way of linking songs together. When listening to the last track, blending Mandolin Rain with the Garcia tune, Black Muddy River, no Hornsby fan will be disappointed....those who love his romantic melodies, jazz improvizations, creative musical genius, command of the keyboard, or simply those who appreciate Bruce's way of honoring Garcia's memory. If Bruce ever comes to your area, live, see him. In the interim, buy the CD set and treat yourself to a great Hornsby concert!"
A Great Musical Journey: Extended Sets, Hornsby & Beyond
L.A. Scene | Indian Trail, NC USA | 01/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nearly 15 years into a successful music career, it seemed long overdo for Bruce Hornsby to put out a live album. Bruce has been responsible for some outstanding music and during this period put out six solo albums. His first three albums were actually done as part of "Bruce Hornsby and the Range". This records made the piano maestro Hornsby a Pop star. While his latter three albums didn't have the commercial success, Hornsby would continue to strengthen his niche among his fan following - while continuing to explore some new avenues. With this album, "Here Come the Noise Makers" - Hornsby delivers the goods. This collection is a 2 CD Live Set. It contains 136+ minutes of music! Of the 18 tracks that are included, only 6 tracks are less than 6 minutes (3 of those less than 5 minutes) - this makes for some great extended play music. Hornsby does a great job at providing some nice segues between his music and the music other other Rock artists and even some Classical Composers.
This live collection actually comes from performances over a three year period (1998-2000). These performances include 1999 Woodstock, New Years Eve at Williamsburg Virginia, Austin City Limits (PBS), BET Jazz Central, and various other tour dates. Normally when there is a live release, I prefer the album to be a live recording from a single concert performance. I prefer it to be delivered in the order in which the songs were actually delivered. By having things from a single night and in order - I feel there is continuity and the magic of the concert is captured perfectly. What amazes me is how well this collection was put together. There seems to be a great flow from song to song. It does seem like it was a single performance from a single night. If this was from a single night, this might have even been that much better. One of the things I like best is how it captures the reaction from the audience - particularly you can hear the audience go "Bruuuce" after many of the songs. Usually that homage is reserved for Springsteen, but Hornsby is just as deserving of that honor.
Since the songs were taken from performances between 1998 and 2000, the most songs come from Hornsby's most recent album, the double set - "Spirit Trail". There are five songs that album: "Great Divide", "King of the Hill", "Sneaking Up on Boo Radley", "Fortunate Son", and "Sunflower Cat". If there is one thing that is disappointing is that there is not a lot of material from the "Bruce Hornsby and the Range" days that isn't included. There are a total of 7 songs from this era (i.e. the first 3 albums), this includes: "The Way It Is", "Mandolin Rain", "Red Plains", "The Road Not Taken", "The Valley Road", "Jacobs Ladder", and "Stander on the Mountain". Of those three albums, it seems like "A Night on the Town" was really left out - "Stander on the Mountain" is the only song included on this album.
Hornsby is backed by some solid musicians, but ultimately it is Hornsby's Baldwin Piano that is going to be the star of this collection. I consider Hornsby the pioneer of something that has been called "The Virginia Sound". The best way I can describe this sound is a mixture of a lot of different genres of music: Jazz, Classicial, Bluegrass, Rock, Country, and Pop. On this collection there will be a wide range of instruments incorporated into the songs to give this such a distinct sound: Clarinet, Saxaphone, Guitar, Accordian, and Mandolin. There are times during the performance where Hornsby will go hands-down into a Classical Music Performance. This is found on the "Piano Intro/Great Divide" track where Hornsby "warms up" with some classical piano before going into his "Virginia Sound" on "Great Divide". You'll also hear this on Track 8 which includes a "Piano Intro" before leading into Gershwin's "I Love You Porgy" and then going into Samuel Barber's "Nocturne". Midway through this segue of songs, you'll hear Hornsby go into some notes of his song "The Way It Is" (which he will seamlessly perform following this sequence). You will also hear some Classical Work as a prelude to "King of the Hill" - this is Bill Evans' "Twelve Tone Tune". You'll hear a Jazz influence in several places - particularly when Bruce plays "Spider Fingers" followed by Bud Powell's "Tempus Fight". You'll also hear this strongly on "Sneaking Up on Boo Radley".
Back when Hornsby recorded "A Night on the Town", The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia played guitar on several tracks. Hornsby and Garcia developed a good synergy. With Garcia passing away prior to these recordings, Hornsby pays appropriate tribute by included two songs co-written by Jerry: "Lady With a Fan" and "Black Muddy River" (this song is the finale performed sandwiched inside Hornsby's classic "Mandolin Rain"). Hornsby also pays tribute to Bob Dylan by performing his "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Take a Train to Cry" - this is performed as a segue to Hornsby's "Sunflower Cat". You will hear the popular Huey Lewis song, "Jacobs Ladder" - but this song was written by Hornsby his version is on his "Scenes From the Southside" album. You will hear a traditional instrumental, "Blackberry Blossom" as a segue to "Jacobs Ladder". Finally many know that Hornsby wrote Don Henley's classic song "The End of the Innocence". There is a live version of Bruce performing this song - and this is to place to hear it.
Most of the songs are excellent versions of Bruce's studio work. The liner notes contain a short writeup by Hornsby and list some band members with some acknowledgements to people. There are no lyrics included and the specific songs are not credited to the night they were recorded. Despite these quirks, this is still an excellent collection for true Hornsby fans and new fans alike - Highly Recommended."