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Focus on Bruce Hornsby: An Audio Retrospective Impresses

by Holley Dey

Bruce Hornsby Live       Photo by Ed Perlstein for Getty Images, July 1996


The river runs low tonight

Eyes are closed on the waterline

The river runs low tonight

And you’re always drifting through my mind

The river runs low tonight

And nobody waits for the tides to rise

But I’m gonna wait till you make

The river run high

It’s a beautiful ballad, a love song overshadowed by the album’s immensely successful title track.  “The River Runs Low” is track #8 on 1986 album The Way It Is from Bruce Hornsby and the Range.  Below, listen to Bruce’s solo performance of the song, recorded live at The Strand in York, Pennsylvania on August 1, 1994.

“The River Runs Low” is only one of one hundred live recordings compiled by Si Twining, webmaster at longtime fan site; these files are made available this month as free mp3 downloads.  Spanning the years from 1977 to 2009, the 100 songs offer a fascinating audio retrospective of Mr. Hornsby’s career to date.  Click here to read brief descriptions of the songs and circumstances, as well as to download music!

At the start of the 1994 live recording, Bruce jokes that the crowd has only themselves to blame if the concert doesn’t meet expectations; the setlist was built from fan requests.  It’s been a longstanding tradition; requests are written by hand or printed on small scraps of paper and left on the stage for the band at live shows.  Hornsby often shares those requests post concert on his official website. The collections are impressive both for the depth of the musician’s catalog, and for the earnest and creative appeals made by devoted fans.

bruce collage

Thank you to Mr. Hornsby for the music, and to Si Twining for collecting and sharing that music.  I’ll leave you with one more live recording, and hope that you will have the opportunity to discover for yourself the talent and creativity inherent in the other ninety-eight.

This instrumental, mostly solo variation was recorded live during a performance at The Bottom Line, New York, New York on September 2, 1986.  The song is “The Way It Is”, title track from the 1986 album –  a beautiful start to this, or any weekend.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Awesome work, Holley! Love Bruce Hornsby. Thanks for the focus on one of a truly gifted singer songwriter.

    June 21, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you, Louise. There are some wonderful recordings among the 100. They’re all high quality, many coming directly from the soundboard. Interesting to hear the many directions his music has taken over the years!

      June 23, 2013
  2. THIS is cool. Thanks. Love it.

    June 23, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks for coming by, Francine! Appreciate it; hope you enjoy the music.

      June 23, 2013

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