Bruce Hornsby and the Range

Formed in 1984 by singer-songwriter and pianist Bruce Hornsby (born on November 23, 1954), The Range was an American soft rock band, credited for creating the “Virginia sound,” a combination of rock, jazz, and bluegrass. Composed of David Mansfield (guitar, mandolin, and violin), George Marinelli (guitar), Joe Puerta (bass), John Molo (drums), plus Hornsby himself on piano, The Range achieved massive success through their 1986 single “The Way It Is,” a poignant social commentary on racial segregation that topped the charts in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands, and propelled the album of the same name to multi-platinum status. The LP also produced the Top 5 hit “Mandolin Rain” and earned the band a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1987. They followed their first full-length’s success with Scenes from the Southside (1988), whose lead single “The Valley Road,” topped Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks and Adult Contemporary Chart. “Jacob’s Ladder,” also included in the album, became a Number 1 hit after Huey Lewis and the News re-recorded it. In the following years, Hornsby became a frequent collaborator of psychedelic rockers The Grateful Dead on their live shows and made cameos on albums by Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and Stevie Nicks before releasing A Night On The Town (1990), his last record with The Range. Featuring jazz legends Wayne Shorter and Charlie Haden, and bluegrass virtuoso Bela Fleck, the album favored a more guitar-driven approach and incorporated elements from bluegrass and jazz into the band’s FM-friendly sound. It also spawned Hornsby’s last hit, “Across The River,” which topped Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart and featured The Grateful Dead’s Jerry García on guitar.

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