JC: Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers

This was probably one of the acts I was most looking forward to on Jam Cruise. If you read my blog or listen to my radio station, you probably know that JAM music isn’t necessarily my genre of choice. A singer/songwriter like Bruce Hornsby is more up my alley…and when you add in his noisemakin’ band, I’m totally in. I was excited to see how Hornsby would adapt to being on a ship full of jam bands…and the truth is, he didn’t have to! His band was incredibly tight and at times very funky. Plus, special guests like George Porter on bass and Ivan Neville on piano created even more of a jam on stage and therefore a buzz in the audience.

During his set, Hornsby would definitely take the pace down and even play solo for a bit, but the tunes would always build up…with other band members joining in, creating a full sound and getting the crowd amped! I was struck by how much of a commanding presence he had up there…at times it even seemed liked he was conducting an orchestra, motioning to the band and cuing them to follow his lead.

A friend of mine asked how many people showed up for this performance, and said he was a little confused as to who on Jam Cruise was a fan of Bruce Hornsby. Of course I told him he was looking at one :) but I also think any music lover can appreciate a pro like Hornsby (and of course his kickin’ band), and a lot of them DID out on the pool deck during this performance, possibly to their surprise.

Bruce Hornsby


Filed under Check it out, LIVE music

8 responses to “JC: Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers

  1. Jess did he lay down one of my favorite songs of all time “Valley Road”.. hope your having a ball and thanks for keeping us in the loop as to the happenings on the ocean

  2. lagoondine

    How much fun can one girl have! Pinch yourself, indeed!

  3. Greg

    Hornsby definitely gets props in the jam community. All you really have to point to is the fact that he played keys for a little jam band called the Grateful Dead, even if it was only for a brief time in the early ’90’s. And he’s done a lot more in the jam scene, including several studio & live collaborations with Steve Kimock. I think Bruce and Page McConnell are the best rock/improv pianists of our generation.

    • Great point! It certainly makes sense that he’s got ties to the scene. A lot of folks in my triple A world see him as more of a singer/songwriter than anything else. I’m heading to the Cayamo cruise in three weeks and it was interesting to think about who would fit for both cruises (besides Ryan)… Bruce was one of the only other acts that would. The Noisemakers got down, but I certainly wouldn’t perceive them as a JAM band, even after their performance.

      • Greg

        For sure, Bruce’s solo stuff or BH and the Noisemakers I would definitely not categorize as jam. You could argue that it’s more adult contemporary/pop rock than anything. It’s more that he’s so good and versatile as a player that he’s been able to dabble in the best of several worlds, from his own stuff to jam to bluegrass. The guy’s just awesome.

        • He is! I’m even more of a fan of him now. Do you like Marco Benevento too? He was in full force on the cruise, playing with all sorts of bands.

          • Greg

            Yes! Love Benevento. He actually did a residency in Burlington at the Radio Bean a month or two ago. Not sure if you know that spot, but it’s a little coffee shop that holds about 50 people I’ve seen him with his trio, and with the Benvento/Russo duo. His original stuff is amazing, and I LOVE his covers of Heartbeats and Fearless. Dude is super talented, and seems like a really chill cat.

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