Personnel: Laura Creamer, Shawn Murphy, Debbie Henry Sr. (vocals); David Mansfield , Doug Derryberry, George Marinelli (guitar); John D'earth, Bobby Read (horns); John "J.T." Thomas (keyboards); John Molo, Michael Baker , Sonny Emory (drums).
Liner Note Author: Tris McCall.
Photographers: Robert Llewellyn; Susana Millman; Kevin Mazur; Phillip Saltonstall; Katherine Fisher; Robbi Cohn; Leonard Grapple.
As eccentric as the artist himself, Legacy's 2015 compilation The Essential Bruce Hornsby may not give casual fans all the hits they know -- "Mandolin Rain" is, for one, here in a live version, while "Every Little Kiss" is absent altogether -- but this does an excellent job of showcasing Hornsby's range and idiosyncratic taste. There isn't much from the Range here, all things considered: there's more from his rangier new millennial band the Noisemakers, plus duets with Ricky Skaggs, jams with jazzbos Jack DeJohnette and Christian McBride, not to mention Grateful Dead covers and a bit of classical music to boot. It's a lot to shoehorn onto one collection but it definitely shows Hornsby's versatility, as well as how he's gotten looser (and possibly better) as he's moved further away from the charts. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine