006Bruce Hornsby-Spirit Trail (double CD)

BMG Records – released October, 1998

Oct. 16, 1998 – No one could ever accuse Hornsby of not paying attention. Every lyric on ‘Spirit Trail,’ his sixth album, describes his unquenchable thirst to understand what were all doing here. Stripped down, his lyric sheets look more like realistic views on sociology than anything that should be shoved in a jewel box. In an era where most artists have problems believing what they sing, Hornsby is very much real.

From the albums opening Bluesy pick-me-up, ‘King Of The Hill,’ a look at an insecure ‘big fish in a small pond’ to an old mans regrets in spite of his health and wealth on ‘Fortunate Son,’ Hornsby delivers his best in years.

The most potent track, ‘Line In The Dust,’ question’s our hidden agenda’s and justifications in long term relationships, wrapped by gale-force keyboards not heard since Don Henley’s ‘Dirty Laundry.’ This is a combination of both phases of Hornsby’s career – the honest southern pop that radio loved and his Jazz/blues creative overhauls on song structure. The good news? The marriage works! – by John Beaudin

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