Soft sounds


OU professor to perform acoustic jazz guitar at Athens Uncorked

Jess Umbarger / Asst. Culture Editor


The sounds of acoustic jazz guitar will fill the air in Athens Uncorked once again during welcome weekend.

John Horne, who has been playing guitar since the early ‘80s, will perform at the wine bar at 14 Station St. on Aug. 25 at 8 p.m.

Horne is an adjunct professor at Ohio University and teaches guitar methods classes, as well as multiple jazz courses. He also has his own private teaching practice and has taught at multiple schools.

Sarah Mitchell, an Athens resident, has seen Horne perform multiple times.

“Hearing him at Athens Uncorked is great,” Mitchell said. “We can listen to great music and carry on a conversation with friends at the same time.”


Emily Harger | FILE

Athens Uncorked co-owners and siblings Nate Hayes, left, and Kathy Blake, right, talk together in the dining area of Athens Uncorked, a wine bar located on Station Street.

Mitchell’s sons both took lessons with Horne when they were younger.

“(Horne) plays a lot of well-known, popular songs,” Mitchell said. “I always look forward to when he plays ‘The Girl from Ipanema.’ ”

Nate Hayes, owner of Athens Uncorked, said Horne was one of the first musicians he brought in to perform three years ago. Horne has played at the wine bar almost every month since Hayes approached him about performing.

“We weren’t sure if we wanted to have live music because it can be a little loud,” Hayes said.

Hayes heard Horne playing around town before and thought he should give a live musician a try. Horne’s style of mellow acoustic fit in well right off the bat, Hayes said.

“His music really seemed to fit into the atmosphere of a wine bar,” Hayes said. “It’s very laid-back, very comfortable without being bland.”

Horne describes his style as laid-back, with a warm and rich sound.

“His music is very atmospheric,” Mitchell said.

“It’s like a warm blanket of groovy songs, I want (my music) to be like the heat is on in the room in the winter time.”John Horne

Horne tends to choose popular songs that people know but sticks to the instrumental versions. He does sing at some venues, but he said it doesn’t happen often.

“If you play something that’s a little more laid-back people think, ‘Oh this is a more interesting groove,’ ” Horne said.

But he doesn’t want to take away from the dining experience; Horne wants to provide background music. Most of his performances are solo guitar, so people can still get food or something to drink without having music in their face, Horne said.

“I try to blend in and add to the surroundings,” Horne said. “Filling up some space in the room but not just with noise.”

Horne wants people to be pleasantly surprised if they come in to get food or wine and see him playing. He doesn’t want people to want to go somewhere else because the live music is too loud.

“(Athens Uncorked) does tend to attract more of the adult crowd in Athens, so I want the music to be kind of in the background,” Horne said.

When playing music, Horne doesn’t want to be at the center of attention like a lot of musicians do, he said. He wants to simply help provide an atmosphere.

“It’s like a warm blanket of groovy songs,” Horne said while laughing. “I want (my music) to be like the heat is on in the room in the winter time.”

Development by: Megan Knapp / Digital Production Editor

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