Since returning to his native Fort Lauderdale in 2007, Chris Horgan has been a fixture in the music scene throughout the many dives and haunts that make up the Broward and Palm Beach County divide. Horgan came back to Fort Lauderdale after a stint in a popular L.A. shoegazey band Eskimohunter to start a new outfit called Sweet Bronco. At its height, the band was a three-piece that consisted of melodic electro-thrills over acoustic sentiments, a style Horgan described as "disco folk-rock with a message."
Over the years, Horgan has played under many different monikers (his most recent being the high-powered "space pop" of North Atlantic Space Company) and with the likes of several of South Florida's most notable musicians (John Ralston seems to be his favorite musical companion).
So it is with great pleasure that we received this delicate, art-damaged, spacy, country-tinged rendition of Neil Young's inflective number "Roll Another Number (For the Road)." The original, recorded in 1973, captures Young at a time when he was disparaging the fame that had come his way from his days spent in folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Wanting to distance himself as much as possible, he recorded Tonight's the Night without all the polish that accompanied CSNY albums.
It was a rugged, mournful effort that dealt with the heroin overdoses of two of Young's friends (roadie Bruce Berry and Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten).
Horgan does an excellent job capturing the somber mood that permeates the record. Several multitracks give the impression that there are many Horgans singing along on the plaintive chorus, "Think I'll roll another number for the road/I feel able to get under any load," but because of the magic of ProTools and Horgan's studio competency, there is just one. And that voice that sings along, although slightly quavering, is much more pristine than the hoarse and painfully croaky vocals of the original.
Horgan, who still sometimes uses the name Sweet Bronco for his recordings, was contemplating handing this track under the nom de plume Cloud High because it was a name he has been thinking of using and, he says, "Seemed appropriate for this given the content matter." Cloud High, AKA Sweet Bronco, AKA Chris Horgan, will be performing as part of Record Store Day festivities, at Lake Worth's elusive (we have never seen the store open when we have been in Lake Worth, seriously) vinyl emporium Top Five Records. He will play originals but has also gained a reputation for churning out tasty acoustic numbers, like this sweet rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer."
For now, hazy County Grind readers, relax, kick back, and enjoy this unhurried gem.
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