The latest from Horizon Records in Greenville, SC

by David Turner

The folks from Horizon Records reflect on the good and bad from 2016..and then get us excited over a plethora of awesome new releases and kewl gear in-store.

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Hello Friends and Music Collectors,
Rolling through December 2016 gives me pause to ponder the magic or the sheer miracle of the fact that our humble endeavor known as Horizon Records is still alive lo these 41 years since a rather starry eyed and definitely naive Gene opened the first little edition of Horizon about this time in 1975. We have grown, survived, struggled, and lately after 4 decades settled into a decent little groove. It seems to be a kind of a “the more things change, the more things stay the same” journey; eclectic music for collectors and neighbors in our own inimitable Horizon-noid way. So I say THANK YOU! and yet
yes, 2016 has been a messed up year. The best I can say is there’s good news and there’s bad news. I would be remiss if I didn’t remark on both in this email. Firstly, we have endured a brutal and divisive election cycle and are now walking through a transition that for many of us is very unnerving and very scary. Meanwhile tragic world things continue at an unabated pace, Aleppo being the most visible of so many situations in the sad general category of innocent people in harms way being trampled or oppressed. In another area of dang this just happened, the cultural world and music scenes lost what seemed a record number of beloved icons and artists in 2016; to remember just a few in no particular order we recall:
enough of the sad and bad, in the good news category, we have had a blessing of wonderful in-store events and community mindedness here on our corner. From the local history healing and magic music making of our JOSH WHITE DAY to the insane Record Store Day visits and shout from PEARL JAM and simultaneous shout and then signing from ROSANNE CASH on down the list to all the wonderful artists and authors who cared to stop here and share their works with us. An incomplete list of these we wish to thank at year end here are: MARCUS KING BAND, NIEL BROOKS, JOHNNY IRION, ADIA VICTORIA, JOSH WHITE JR, MATT FLINNER TRIO, EXCONS, SETH WALKER, JOSH ROSENTHAL, LARRY HOSKINSON-ROCKWELL, KANSAS BIBLE COMPANY, ROSANNE CASH, and more… Lastly I want to offer high fives and a big gratitude y’all to everyone who contributed to our Swag Saturday project wherein we gathered and donated 2 full pickup truck loads of warm clothes and food and nearly $1000 worth of donation checks in support of our neighbors at Triune Mercy Center, now THAT is some good news! THANKS!!
So just check out our picks/featured recent releases below.
Be good to your neighbor (and yourself) and, yup, COME SEE US. HAPPY HOLIDAYS and wishing you peace. —gene
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday 10am ’til 10pm,  Sunday 11-6pm.

Blue & Lonesome, CD/deluxeCD
2LP vinyl
Their first studio album in over a decade takes the band back to their roots and the passion for blues music which has always been at the heart and soul of The Rolling Stones. The album was produced by Don Was and The Glimmer Twins and was recorded over the course of just three days in December last year at British Grove Studios in West London, just a stone’s throw from Richmond and Eel Pie Island where the Stones started out as a young blues band playing pubs and clubs. Their approach to the album was that it should be spontaneous and played live in the studio without overdubs. The band – Mick Jagger (vocals & harp), Keith Richards (guitar), Charlie Watts (drums), and Ronnie Wood (guitar) were joined by their long time touring sidemen Darryl Jones (bass), Chuck Leavell (keyboards) and Matt Clifford (keyboards) and, for two of the twelve tracks, by old friend Eric Clapton, who happened to be in the next studio making his own album. ‘Blue & Lonesome’ sees the Rolling Stones tipping their hats to their early days as a blues band when they played the music of Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon, Eddie Taylor, Little Walter and Howlin’ Wolf.

a CLASSIC still timely in 2016!
What’s Going On, (1971) CD
old school 180gram gatefold vinyl LP

Gaye cited the 1965 Watts riots as a pivotal moment in his life in which he asked himself, “with the world exploding around me, how am I supposed to keep singing love songs?” Reuniting at their parents’ suburban D.C. home, Marvin’s brother Frankie discussed the events of his tenure at Vietnam, detailing experiences that sometimes left the two brothers consoling each other in tears; he recalled Marvin sitting propped up in a bed with his hands in his face. Afterwards, Marvin told his brother, “I didn’t know how to fight before, but now I think I do. I just have to do it my way. I’m not a painter. I’m not a poet. But I can do it with music.” In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Marvin Gaye discussed what had shaped his view on more socially conscious themes in music and the conception of his eleventh studio album:

“In 1969, I began to re-evaluate my whole concept of what I wanted my music to say — I was very much affected by letters my brother was sending me from Vietnam, as well as the social situation here at home. I realized that I had to put my own fantasies behind me if I wanted to write songs that would reach the souls of people. I wanted them to take a look at what was happening in the world.” –Marvin Gaye.

You Want It Darker
glorious dark poetic vinyl LP 
The title of Leonard Cohen’s new album serves as a taunt. It’s a jab at those who expect the 82-year-old poet and singer to just retire, going gently into the good night without a fight. It’s also a treatise on modern culture, particularly fitting for the current presidential election cycle. John Oliver describes us as being “buried alive in the horror that is this election.” Cohen, ever the tidy wordsmith, doesn’t engage in such histrionics. “You want it darker?” he simply offers. The cool inquiry is rhetorical, because who would actually answer in the affirmative? He’s slyly baiting us with our own fears: You think it’s dark now? Just turn on the TV tomorrow morning. The album’s nine tracks tell a different story, however. The songs keep in line with the narrative Cohen laid out in the New Yorker piece about putting his “house in order” before migrating from this earthly plane. A witty couplet (or eight) aside, the album deals in harsh goodbyes. Not entirely welcome, some heave with resignation as others bring a modicum of comfort. “I’m leaving the table/ I’m out of the game,” he sputters in a charcoal growl on “Leaving the Table”. Just two songs prior, he mournfully pleads about how he wishes “there was a treaty between your love and mine” on “Treaty”. If You Want It Darker ends up as Cohen’s last musical will and testament, no distant relative goes without a hefty inheritance. And whether we wake up to a country going along with her or making itself great again on a morning in early November, Cohen’s bare-knuckled insistence that religion, politics, those bound to us by law or sheer will, and even ourselves will fail is a fitting legacy.

Northern Lights, CD
brilliant new set of songs from Greenville’s own troubadour and guitarist deluxe! 
There are not-so-negligible nods to John Fahey, Townes Van Zandt, and Gram Parsons on this record: a kind of crossroads where many of my influences have congregated. I spent about a year writing and recording it alongside Mourning Dove and David Rothon (pedal steel). It’s my favorite record that I’ve made.” —Niel Brooks

Gene Pick:
A Multitude Of Angels – Solo Concerts, CD   
4 CD set of solo live piano concert improvisations! 
a thing of beauty 
A Multitude of Angels is an awe inspiring journey, a magical 4-CD set of recordings from a series of solo concerts in Italy in October 1996, documenting the conclusion of Keith Jarrett’s experiments with long-form improvisation in performances from Modena, Ferrara, Turin, and Genova. “These were the last concerts I played having no breaks within each set,” Jarrett explains in his liner notes. The arc of the music is characteristically comprehensive: “Jazz is ever present here, alongside my deep closeness with classical music (modern and ancient, Ives and Bach).

Just picked and direct to your stereo:

yup, there’s a ton of new CD/LP action! stuff like METALLICA, CONOR OBERST, LEE FIELDS, HARVEY MANDEL, DANNY BROWN, RADIOHEAD, LEONARD COHEN, NATHANIEL RATELIFF, MARCUS KING BAND, DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, THE BAND-Last Waltz re-issue to name just a random few. Check the New Release pages on Horizon’s website for weekly highlights lists of newness, re-stocks, re-issues, CD and Vinyl and local/regional arrivals, so Check it out right here.

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