Bruce Hornsby has a sound. Every song he does (solo or with The Range) just sounds like him. It’s in his stellar piano in the fore (a key part, pun intended), in his completely distinctive vocals, and in that sweet grooving bottom end. Also, and I struggled with how to describe this part… there’s a complete melodic sense that teases with 80s doctors office lite FM radio pap but never, ever comes close to it because there’s a wee bit of edge, as well as strength and masterful tunefulness.
That last bit isn’t a backhanded compliment, I truly do like how all the elements come together in his songs, his records are a songwriting master class.
So what we have here is his third (and last) album with The Range, 11 tracks of clear Hornsby goodness. Of all the tracks here, you’d most likely know Across The River (video below). But it doesn’t matter if you’ve heard any of these tracks – if you like his sound, you will love this album. On top of that, this record features many special guests including Jerry Garcia, Béla Fleck, Shawn Colvin, Charlie Haden, and many others (see below). Hot damn.
Tracks: A Night On The Town / Carry The Water / Fire On The Cross / Barren Ground / Across The River / Stranded On Easy Street / Stander On The Mountain / Lost Soul / Another Day / Special Night / These Arms Of Mine*
* This is an original song, not a cover of Otis Redding.
Additional personnel, by track:
“Carry the Water” – Laura Creamer and Shaun Murphy (backing vocals)
“Fire on the Cross” – Béla Fleck (banjo), Wayne Shorter (saxophone)
“Barren Ground”– Shawn Colvin (backing vocals), Béla Fleck (banjo), Jerry Garcia (guitar)
“Across the River”– Jerry Garcia (guitar), Laura Creamer and Shaun Murphy (backing vocals)
“Stranded on Easy Street” – David Mansfield (guitar), Jimmie Wood (harmonica)
“Stander on the Mountain” – Charlie Haden (upright bass), David Mansfield (violin), Shawn Colvin (backing vocals)
“Lost Soul” – Shawn Colvin (vocals)
“Another Day” – David Lasley and Arnold McCuller (backing vocals)
“Special Night” – Shawn Colvin (backing vocals)
“These Arms of Mine” – Bridgette Bryant, David Lasley, Arnold McCuller and Fred White (backing vocals)