Neil Isaacson

Emerald Valley Opry players

Emerald Valley Opry players

I’ve heard Bruce describe his sound as Bill Evans meets the hymnbook. I hear it, and I love it. I was immediately drawn to the gospel sound of “Nobody There But Me” the first time I heard it. Bruce & the Noisemakers blow that tune out of the water. Each and every time. And that’s pretty much the same thing with every single tune they do. The spontaneity in the live shows is what makes seeing Bruce and the Noisemakers an experience. So much fun to see and hear. And the same goes for his solo performances.

I like Bruce’s ability to stylize not only the cover tunes he manages to slip into his songs, but to change things up with his own compositions. How many players have the ability to play so many styles, and execute them all with such deft precision and musical expression? I share a passion for genre grazing, and have always seemed to get involved with bands that like to run the gamut. Bruce epitomizes that ability. He both entertains and inspires in all that he does.

In my work as a graphic designer, I’ve pulled a number of late-nighter’s over the years. Bruce’s music has been a staple in my design studio for more than two decades. His songs have kept the creative juices flowing many a night. Into the wee hours we would go, which could either involve a chronological trip through my collection of the studio albums, or pouring through the scores of fantastic live recordings I’ve acquired over the years. It’s all great listening entertainment.

And, it was through a country gig I do once a month, which raises funds for the Willamette Valley High School music program, that I have met some wonderful friends and amazing musicians. They freely gave of their time and talent to support me in my contribution to Salivate. My association with these players gave me an opportunity to take a new spin on this tune. At the Emerald Valley Opry, it was a real kick to introduce Bruce Hornsby to a very large audience of (mostly white-haired) country music fans. And they love “Nobody There But Me.”

I’m sincerely grateful to Alan Corbeth, who made himself available to record and produce this song for me.

The Emerald Valley Opry players on this track (R-L) are:

Neil Isaacson – guitar, bass, vocal
Frank Walden – guitar
Johnny Kallus – drums
Alan Corbeth – guitar
Julie Needle – backing vocals
Larry Cummings – pedal steel
With special guest, Tom Boyd (fellow bandmate from TotalHip) – piano