The Bruce Hornsby newsgroup weighted in with its collective thoughts after the release of Spirit Trail in 1998. I don’t know who “Nestor” is, but I hope they’re still around…
October 14 1998
“I’ve just been forming my impression of the various songs from Spirit Trail. I have to say that the new album(s) really haul ass. Bruce has come through once again (did anyone doubt it?). Congrats to Bruce on another superb album.
As I’m listening to ST, I’m finding that a lot of things seem familiar…bits and pieces from here and there. I think most of what I recognize is coming from the various live shows I’ve heard over the years.
One very striking example is the the chorus/intro melody in Swan Song. This little tune is straight from the “The Way It Is” prelude that Bruce used to do back in 87-88 during live shows. Check out the Japanese import or the King Biscuit Flour Hour show if you doubt me. It’s especially weird that Bruce has failed to play this prelude/intro at any of his shows since about 1988, and here we are in 1998 and it’s on his album. Whacky!!
“While I’m on the topic, I noticed that the big solo run in “King of the Hill” has been played many a time before in Bruce’s live shows. Bruce tends to use a few favorite improv techniques in a number of songs, and this is one of them.”
October 15 1998
“I nearly fell off my seat laughing when I perused the liner notes of Bruce’s /nouveaux/ album, Spirit Trail. I gotta say, the notes were truly the piece de resistance of a remarkable album. Who says Bruce doesn’t have a sense of humor? Not I, after cheerfully reading Chip Matteo’s salutatione of Bruce’s album. The inclusion of this overblown tribute is like the capper of a grand practical joke. I can almost see two boys sitting there, eyes tearing up and watching you to see if you take them seriously”.
October 27 1998
“Am enjoying the musical humor in Spirit Trail. Lots of eye brow movement following the other-than-predictable changes and modulations. In addition to being a sterling collection of music- its good clean fun. Pantonal Cajun augmented eleventh anyone?!!!”
November 4 1998
Randy from Reading:
“Bruce is definitely one of the most talented artist of all time, and I think we can all be assured his place in music history.
“Spirit Trail is amazing. It was well worth the wait. When I spoke to Bruce In March of 97 at the Berks Jazz fest he told me that the new cd would be out in the summer. I really didn’t think I could wait so long. And then summer 97 became summer of 98 and I started to get the shakes.
“Finally October rolled around and here we are. Listening to not one but two CDs. THANKS BRUCE ! It truely is a great work of art.
“Also remember to get the word out to everybody about this new CD. Anyone who appreciates good music will enjoy this.”
November 4 1998
“Wow! Spirit Trail finds Hornsby at his absolute best. Awe inspiring melodies, soulful vocal renderings and touching virtuoso piano performances and the lyrics always telling wonderful stories. This is heaven! Who could ask for more?
“This album like all his previous ones, confirm once again that this man has brought the greatest musical contributions to the pop world in forty years. No other artist of the so-called “Rock Era” has moved me more!
I cannot recall any other current musician delivering more powerful and thought provoking music than BR Hornsby. I mean, his music comes straight from the heart. Every note he plays has a meaning. It is there for a purpose. There isn’t a single Hornsby tune without those magical moments. It is hard to explain and I know many Hornsby fans feel this way. Right from the beginning I knew this was NOT your regular pop radio artist. It was true back in 1986 with “The Way It Is” and it remains so today, just barely a year away from the new millenium.
“The new album is fabulous. A landmark in Hornsby´s career (I love them all, BTW) . This is a MUST have piece of work and without a doubt the most important pop album in recent years. It is hard to choose a fav song. I am listening to Fortunate Son as I write this. God, what a beautiful song!
“I am absolutely certain that Hornsby will be remembered as one of the greatest musical forces of this century. He will transcend all preconceived schemes and commercial formulas and become universal. Like all geniuses, he perhaps, is not as well understood by the world at large than other, more superficial, artists. However, those with a heart, a love for music and appreciation for the fine things in life will find solace with Hornsby. After all he’s speaking our language. We understand him; we feel the same chills with a lovely tune…. When I hear Hornsby playing, it’s like day-dreaming. All that is nice, beautiful and worthwhile in life comes shining through!
Thanks Bruce for sharing your wonderful music with us!
Nov 26 1998
Rich Diakun (we miss him a lot), very astutely:
“Jeez, I hope RCA does *something* for this great album. Are they doing any promotion for the CD other than putting up the web page?”