Once Elton John and Billy Joel became too unbearable, Bruce Hornsby stepped up to become the sensitive piano man for the tired, rock-addled masses. His major label debut The Way It Is (1986) took a while to break, though it eventually caught fire. Hornsby's star seemed unstoppable after that, but he became more experimental with each release. His albums continue to sell, but the odd, prog Adult Contemporary Spirit Trail (1998) cost him all but his most fevered fans. He once took over for the Grateful Dead's dead keyboardist and today he's filling Jerry Garcia's substantial spot with the surviving members of the band. Don't worry, purists, Hornsby's not pasting on a shaggy beard and stuffing a pillow into his shirt. He continues to do his own thing with little attention to fickle fashion.