Guitar Phenomenon Takes Crowds by Surprise

By Donna Anderson
National Music Review

Published Fri July 23, 9:28 AM ET
Reprinted by permission

Portland, Oregon (NMR) - When guitar playing phenomenon Joe Horn walks onto the stage, the first thing you think is that he must be on loan from Led Zeppelin or the Allman Brothers Band. You would be wrong, even though he ranks among the best guitarists we've heard.

Joe at the Outer City Blues Fest
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 At only twenty-five years of age the Oregon native easily wows crowds with an electrifying style that could only be defined by Raiders News Service as a " blend of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Buddy Guy, with a tinge of Carlos Santana."

But there's one very big difference. Joe Horn is a CCMNI 2004 Talent Search winner - an international musician contest endorsed by Twila Paris.

When I saw Joe recently near the little town of Sisters - and I know it will be unpopular to say this - I decided right then and there these judges got it right. Joe's actually as good as the Rock legends mentioned above. 

There, I said it, I feel better now. 

Having grown up in a musical household where both parents and extended family were heavily involved in music, Joe illustrated as a boy an adept's knack for stringed instruments and edgy song composing that manages these days to be as speed-drill in its delivery as it is somehow apparently effortless for a person of mythic talent. Combined with his infectious smile, winning personality, and powerful voice, you have a concert situation where it's nearly impossible to stay in your seat. I know. I couldn't. And neither could those around me. This man's an avalanche on stage, a real heart attack - the kind of rising new star legends are made of.

With his locks of wavy brown hair, sharp clothes and lightning fast hands, Joe Horn explodes onto the stage with innovative vocals and stringed dynamics as fresh and exciting as anybody we've heard or seen in a decade. He's fast, he's slick, he's slow when he needs to be, and he's got that certain something that makes you feel good all over.

National Music Review gives this musician five stars, our highest rating for a newcomer.

If there's any justice in the world, expect to see Joe Horn in a future edition of Rolling Stones 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Times.

Until then, you'll probably catch up with him on a stage near you.

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<------ Joe in Portland with Jimi Vaughn


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Joe in Bend, Oregon with Walter Trout - LA Music Awards Guitarist of the Year and  6th best ever in a BBC Radio listeners poll.

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