Bruce Hornsby

By Michael Campbell

Like a gumbo simmering to full potential, Bruce Hornsby and band took their time in serving up an ultimately satisfying treat. Bolstered by an able, though unspectacular band featuring percussion and horns, Hornsby patiently worked the crowd using material of his own ("High Tide, Low Tide"), as well as that of Dylan ("When I Paint My Masterpiece"), Buddy Holly ("Not Fade Away"), and rousing traditional ("Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad"), done in blue-eyed soul fashion.

It's easy to see why he was a favorite sideman of the Grateful Dead, especially during his extended solos. Bruce seemed to go into a trance, densely packing notes both with and against his rhythm section. Then suddenly breaking into a wide grin, he launched a supple keyboard run, melodic and unpredictable. Although he spent most of the time behind the Baldwin Grand 88's, Hornsby spent the early part of the show stalking the stage with an accordion, adding a N'awlins texture.

By the time the hits like "Old Valley Road," and the soaring "Mandolin Rain" were delivered, the audience was as ready to devour every emotion-drenched note as Hornsby was to feed them.

Although I did not get to see all of Godstreet Wine's set, I was intrigued by their two guitar approach, which was unfortunately dampened by their sheer pretension. Walk on, walk on.