"I can clearly remember the day that music changed my life forever: the day my first guitar came in the mail. I was 16 and it was a cheap $70 job from JC Penney. Still, I loved that guitar with everything in my soul and I spent every hour I could laying what amounted to the foundation of the entire rest of my life."
When you are born on the banks of the Mississippi River, it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that music will echo through your entire life. So it should be no surprise that Loyd Van Horn not only gravitated towards music, like a river, it flowed through every thing he touched.
"Some of my earliest memories, are associated with music," Loyd recalls. "An album purchase here, a song on the radio there. It all became an ingredient in the soup."
Over the years, Loyd accumulated an almost encyclopedic knowledge of rock and roll. It is that knowledge that has provided his music with a vast sonic language that he has used to impress listeners and critics alike.
"[Loyd's new album, Escape] it's a fine example of what “Indie Rock” can be in the hands of a determined solo musician. The amount of talent on display here is amazing, don’t sleep on this guy!" proclaims Sean Knight of the South Carolina Music Guide.
Kate Scroggs of North Carolina's Clay County Progress raved: "While mostly self-learned his deftness, when it comes to applying all of the different genres he’s loved into one, he’s a master."
Bands such as Oasis, Radiohead, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Smiths, and Coheed and Cambria all have played major roles in the shaping of Loyd's musical style. He has even branched out over the years into as varied a spectrum as classic country music, 80s/90s hip-hop, funk, progressive rock, heavy metal, New Orleans brass and zydeco, and even classical music.
"Outside of polka, there isn't much music I won't listen to and find some common thread that connects with the music in my head."
Through his more than 20 years of playing and writing music, Loyd has been in a number of 'cover' bands, but never put much energy behind his own material.
"I have been in a Southern Rock cover band, a blues trio cover band, bands where other people wrote the songs and I was just the guitarist...but I am just at a point in my life where I simply don't want to play other people's music anymore."
So, after releasing his debut album, Daydreams From a Modern Life in December 2015, he decided it was time to start performing his songs live. After spending some time working on the arrangements to fit an acoustic performance, he set out in 2016 to make a name for himself and his songs amongst the very talented Charleston music scene.
A second album, Suddenly, was released in October of 2016, containing stripped down acoustic arrangements of more than 20 songs. Many of these were the songs he was performing around town. Some of these songs were written 20 years ago, dating back to when that cheap department store guitar changed his life.
His most recent release, 2018's Escape, was a breakthrough for Loyd in both his songwriting and his recording abilities.
"Everything is in there. You can hear the classic rock influences, the soul, the blues, the rock...pretty much my entire musical catalog makes an appearance on this album."
So, if you find yourself listening to Loyd's music, close your eyes, and let the music take you on a journey. A journey through decades of rock and roll history, a journey through the sweaty clubs and dive bars that echo each night with the sounds of songwriters honing their craft.
If you listen closely enough, you may even find yourself sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River with a cooling breeze parting your hair, as the sounds of generations of musical craftsmen that came before ring into the sweltering Southern air.
In the studio, Loyd performs with Epiphone and Fender guitars, GHS strings and records with Logic Pro X through Focusrite interfaces. He uses Shure and Audio-Technica microphones
Live, Loyd uses Epiphone and Takamine acoustics, Bose PA systems, D'Addario strings, Shure microphones and Boss effects pedals.
In addition to local guitar/music stores, Loyd trusts the folks at Sweetwater for all of his gear needs.