Review: Bruce Hornsby – Here Come The Noise Makers by John Beaudin

007_here_comeReview: Bruce Hornsby – Here Come The Noise Makers

RCA – released October, 2000

Oct. 20, 2000 – Some people remember where they were when JFK was shot, I prefer to recall cherished introductions to songs that changed my life. Those classic moments are etched in all our brains, maybe it’s hearing a poignant lyric that just puts the pieces together when your at a crossroads or a new sound that expands your idea of what music should sound like. In 1986, Bruce Hornsby touched me on both counts with ‘The Way It is’ an innocent uncorrupted view of racism down south that brought the piano back to the Pop charts. In the middle of the techno beat and Crotch-rock of the 80’s Hornsby put a new spin into the top 40 with a sound that was a little Leon Russell and a lot of Keith Jarrett, not your usual recipe on radio! Even Elton John congratulated Hornsby on his amazing piano chops saying he was so inspired he went back to playing a grand.

What happened since then ? Well Hornsby moved on adding more Jazz & Blues on albums like ‘Harbor Lights’ and ‘Hothouse,’ in fact, his whole musical plan was always about moving up to the next level . Sure, Hornsby hasn’t had a big hit in years but I think he’d be the first to tell you exploring without being genre specific is the only way to fly. Here’s a guy who never does the same song the same way twice, his concerts are an exercise in improvisation, going with what feels and sounds right and if you’ve had the pleasure you know it’s an experience that adds dept to your musical life.

This groundbreaking Live two CD set will stretch you in all the right places with 18 tunes recorded between November 1998 and his famous Millennium New Years show in 2000 . You’ll love what Hornsby does with ‘The Way it is’ adding subtle Piano interludes and even more heart than the original, if you can imagine that. ‘The Valley Road’ is slowed down to a delicious crawl making it sound like a brand new piece but the highlights on this album are the songs that bounce loudly, the good Driving Numbers. Take your pick ‘Great Divide’, Spider Fingers or Rainbow’s Cadillac are all built with an experimental driving feel good spirit. It’s more Artistic than Commercial but it’s the best live album in my collection. – – By John Beaudin

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