There are a few crazy times when I could almost say Bruce Hornsby is my favorite member of the Grateful Dead. I know, right? I’ve either lost my mind, or this proves I never had any taste to begin with. And no, I wouldn’t stand by this music assertion probably for any more time than only this post, and then once again in a year where I’ll bring up Hornsby in MSG ’91.

He definately brings a fasinating element into play. Take this little section here from the 1990 Europe tour, for example.  This is a fine jam! Coming out basically traditionally from a good “Let It Grow”, Hornsby really forges his own path. Now, I’m sure the rest of the band knew the set was about to end with his “Valley Road”. The setlists were ususally pretty well planned out by this era. But this is far more than a little lead-in.

At first, Garcia accompanies the piano line through as an effective segue. The drummers tap around, trying to get in if the can. Then Hornsby shakes them all off for a solo rivaling the likes of either classically trained or pop masters like Elton John. Really unique, but a perfect flavor between the two songs. After about five minutes, the composition winds down, only for “Valley Road” to spring up!

I think ‘Road’ is a nice song, and though only played a handfull of times with the rest of this band, always sits well among the rest of the Dead’s songs.

Well, this post has also a bit of a test for a new category I’ve decided to do- Jam Highlight. Just as sounds, I’m going to take a little closer examination of jams. After all, those three letters are way, way too concise of a word to truly label each and every unique song someone isn’t bothered enough by the ambiguity to title!

 

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