Personnel: Bruce Hornsby (vocals, keyboards); George Marinelli Jr. (guitar, mandolin); Peter Harris (guitar, mandolin); Huey Lewis (harmonica); Joe Puerta (bass, vocals); John Molo (drums).
Although many bands feel pressure to record the follow-up to a successful debut, Bruce Hornsby is a seasoned musician who is comfortable in his own skin. For the most part, he and his band stick to the same formula that brought them success with The Way It Is. In other words, Scenes From the Southside is another strong set of piano-based pop with catchy melodies. While the other musicians are able, they just fill out the sound -- this is Hornsby's gig. One of his greatest strengths is that, despite being an accomplished musician, he never shows off his chops at the expense of the song. The lyrics offer a slice of Americana; co-written with his brother, John Hornsby, the songs conjure up feelings of national pride ("Defenders of the Flag") as well as small-town nostalgia ("The Road Not Taken"). However the highlights of the album are the minor hits "Look out Any Window" and "The Valley Road," with their sprawling, grandiose arrangements that rank among his finest work. While not quite as consistent as their debut, Scenes From the Southside is one of Hornsby's best efforts and a must-own for fans. ~ Vik Iyengar