Janesville33.3°

Edgerton native has gone California pop

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Stacy Vogel
November 4, 2007

Patrick William Horn might hail from Edgerton, but he’s all “Pacific Coast” at heart.


“Even when he was growing up in Edgerton, he was a big fan of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys,” said friend and co-musician Jonah “The Breeze” Chilk. “He’s always had that kind of a piece of California in his spirit, you could say.”


Now Horn, a 1998 graduate of Edgerton High School, is exporting that California sunshine through Pacific Coast, his peace-and-love band harkening to a time when music had a more positive message.


“When I turn on the radio today, I hear songs about people not wanting to go to rehab … and things like that, and I think, ‘What happened to that uplifting, inspiring, feel-good message from the ’60s, that summer of love?’” he said.


Horn, 27, is an unashamed “neo-hippie.” He and his friends use words such as “groovy,” “awesome” and “vibes.”


The band’s Web site describes it as “a potent mix of joy, love and harmony to brighten your day.”


“All the dreams of other dreamers laugh and play, whirling me,” a chorus sings out in “Shine, Shine, Shine,” one of the songs Horn wrote for the band’s self-titled album released in September.


Horn’s father, James Suski, knows where his son got his love for “sunshine pop.”


“It’s stuff I was raised with,” said Suski, who still lives in Edgerton. “I know exactly where he got it from, listening to The Beach Boys.”


Horn, who was born in Chicago and moved to Edgerton at 14, grew up playing and composing music, but he moved to California to study film.


He became a sort of professional student on the West Coast, studying history, philosophy, religion and literature.


He was inspired to write songs by the poetry of Walt Whitman and William Wordsworth, he said.


About two years ago, Horn put Pacific Coast together. He produced the CD, writing all the songs and performing wherever needed for the recording. In live performances, he usually sings harmony and plays the piano, he said.


“This really is my project, my baby,” he said.


Though the CD doesn’t have a label behind it, it has gotten good feedback so far, Horn said.


Several radio stations across the country have it in their libraries, including WORT 89.9 and WSUM 91.7 in Madison. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences chose the album for Grammy consideration, the last step before nomination, in six categories.


More important, fans have responded to the band’s efforts to “spread the love,” Horn said.


“People are responding so favorably to it,” he said. “It’s real nice to know that there’s a place for love and peace and harmony and joy in the world we live in now.”


The band has plenty of future plans. Members are working on adding videos to the band’s Web site and are in negotiations to launch a southwest tour, perform in several festivals and maybe even get their music on television or film.


Horn already has written half a dozen songs for the band’s next album, he said.


“Our sound is very laid back and mellow, and I’d like to rock ’n’ roll a little bit harder,” he said. “Less like The Beach Boys, a little bit more like The Rolling Stones.”


To learn more about Pacific Coast or listen to the music, visit www.pacificcoastband.com.

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