BILL HORN got his first guitar for Christmas in 6th grade. Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, his first profound musical experience came from his 3 years tenure in an Old English type boys choir. Bill studied at the Royal School of Church Music in Berkley, California, and at the early age of eleven performed at Disneyland, the Air Force Academy in Colorado, and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. From these formative experiences, the future musician gained invaluable experience in ear training, and singing became second nature to him. By the time High School rolled around, Horns’ major musical influences had been the Byrds, Beatles, Buffalo Springfield, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones. He spent hours practicing guitar to the LPs he loved so much. Turning professional in 1974, he joined a Texas-based country-rock band called Cahoots. Cahoots soon learned that in order to make a living playing music in Fort Worth and the North Texas area, a band had to be able to play “Country-dance” gigs. Under the guidance of steel guitar player (and now Nashville Producer) Tommy Spurlock, Horn took to learning telecaster licks from Merle Haggard’s guitar player, Roy Nichols, and other greats such as James Burton, Phil Baugh, and Clarence White (of the Byrds & B-Bender fame)... And in 1975, Bill had his first B-Bender installed in his ’58 Telecaster, which helped to shape and develop his fluid, snappy style.
The prestigious Dallas based Buddy Magazine’s “Most Promising Newcomer” award went to Cahoots in 1977, and by 1980, after a record deal gone bad in Nashville, Horn and the band packed up and moved to L.A. to pursue the California Country Rock dream. Led by the Eagles, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, the Flying Burritos Bros., and Poco, this brand of a sophisticated new country had by then set the standard for what we know as today’s “Hot New Country”. However, before the Cahoots band dissolved in ’84, they had built their own recording studio and recorded an unreleased album under the direction of Producer Daniel Moore (Co-writer of “My Maria”/”Brooks & Dunn”). Daniel, a veteran of Joe Cocker’s “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” and producer of many albums for Capitol Records, took Bill under his wing and taught him how to produce Records. Since that time, Horn has turned session player/producer and has appeared on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” backing Kim Carnes. Additionally, he has performed at countless other gigs and recording sessions.
In 1987, Horn formed a new band with fellow Texans Candy Chase (Bass & Vocals), and Michael J. Dohoney (Drums & Vocals). Five years later they added keyboardist Dave Fraser and landed the house gig at the Neon Cactus within the Disneyland Hotel. For three consecutive years, they entertained international and local crowds five nights a week. It was here where their band, FORT WORTH WEST, built up an impressive following. They converted many non-country fans and turned the heads of avid country listeners with their great vocals and kick-ass, Texas brand of country. Their debut CD, FORT WORTH WEST, was critically acclaimed and in Europe, widespread airplay helped award them the European Country Music Association’s “Band of the Year 1999”.
The years following Horn’s employment at the “Neon Cactus” were filled with appearances at Knott’s Berry Farm, the grand opening of Disney’s Toon Town, casuals, luncheons, concerts’ in the park, civic events as well as numerous recording sessions. In addition, one more accolade hangs on Horn’s wall in the form of the California Country Music Association’s “Lead Guitar Player of the Year 1997”. Beginning in March of 2000, Bill, Candy, and Dave captured yet another steady venue back once again at the Disneyland Hotel. This time, The Lost Bar claimed them for their house band playing every Friday and Saturday. The depth of their experience really became evident now as they drew from the vast repertoire’s created by each of their “8 Bands In One”. You can see clips of their videos at http://www.8bands.com
In 2006 a new and challenging opportunity came Bill’s way. He was invited to play the role of “Dickie Betts” in a stunning new tribute band celebrating the music of the Allman Brothers called “Southbound”. Since then, he has polished his performance while headlining at the Riverside Casino in Laughlin, NV, and the O.C. Pavilion Performing Arts Centre amongst many other local venues in Los Angeles. His amazing rendition of “Little Martha” can be seen on YouTube as well as other cuts from Southbound’s many concert appearances. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ-7pk1OuzI
By the end of 2009, yet another musical opportunity came Horn’s way. Lynn “Skins” Coulter, a close friend and bandmate in “Southbound” ( a tribute to the Allman Brothers) was also working in a newly formed Beatles tribute called “Sgt Pepper”. The band sometimes needed a sub, and Skins suggested Horn to leader Dennis Neil Jones. Bill’s affection for Beatles music was so apparent that the lanky and shaggy blonde was snapped up and made a full member when Ralph Riganti left the band. So in 2010, Bill returned to the music that inspired him in his youth. Beatles! “The music is so fun and full of energy,” Bill says, “that people just go crazy when they hear us. I can’t wait for our next gig!” As of the fall of 2011, the list of Sgt Pepper concerts has steadily grown including two years running at both The Ronald Reagan Library and the Ojai Wine Festival as well as Summer Concerts in Palos Verdes, Oxnard, Morongo Casino, Port Hueneme, Seal Beach and in Santa Barbara where they performed to 5,000 people! Check out their schedule here. http://www.sgtpepper.dalyroad.com
In the beginning of the summer of 2011, things really began clicking on Bill’s career. In addition to being in “8 Bands In One” and now 3 different tribute bands, he had caught the eye and ear of a very successful LA Booking Agent, Karla Ross. After subbing throughout the year of 2010 at the prestigious 5 star “Resort at Pelican Hill”, Bill worked 3 days a week in the house band at the Pelican Grill through 2011 into 2012. The New Coast Trio entertains both local and international guests and in 2012 “Pelican Hill” was voted the “#1 Resort in the United States" by the readers of leading luxury travel magazine, Condè Nast Traveler. http://pelicanhill.com/#/resort/
Currently Bill has two steady gigs. Every Thursday he plays with the Gerry Rothschild Band at the Pacific Palms Resort in Industry, CA from 6:30 until 9:30 pm. And at Larsen's Grill in Oxnard, CA every Friday night he performs solo from 5:30 until 9:30 pm. Be sure to catch one of these shows or email Bill to see where he will be performing with one of his awesome bands.