Born in Middlesboro, a small Kentucky town of about twelve-thousand people that is bordered by Tennessee and Virginia. Jeff Hortillosa (Horti) says some pretty wacky happenings of the alien-encounter type are reported frequently in Middlesboro, “of the history channelesque type of reports.”
Growing up, Jeff took violin lessons starting at the age of five. “I got ok, but wasn’t super focused on it,” he said. “Then I got into drums when I was eight with that Greenday album: Dookie. That’s what made me want to play the drums so bad. I picked up the guitar when I was thirteen – Louie Louie was the first song I learned.” He has taken lessons in metal and jazz, and picks up techniques from people he hangs out with.
“Californication was a transitory album for me that flipped my perception of things when I was twelve,” Jeff shared. Over the years, Jeff has been influenced by albumbs by Garbage, Steve Ray Vaughn, Hendrix, and Clapton.
In 2010 he was part of an indie folk pop band called Uncle Lady. The band members met in college in Kentucky where they were learning to play bluegrass. The group moved to Ausitn together and decided to stay around.
Most known for his involvement with piano and guitar in the band Whiskey Shivers, Jeff also does a solo act that has expanded into another band called Horti and the Horticulture Club. One of his favorite songs he has written is a new song about to be released on Whiskey Shivers new album (July 2017), "Some Part of Somethin," called "Liquor, beer, wine, and ice."
“It's about my hometown, Middlesboro Kentucky, which never really got out of the prohibition days,” shared Jeff. “By that I mean, alcohol sale has been illegal within the city for almost a century. Recently, though, a proposition was passed that allowed for the town to have beer sales in restaurants. "Liquor, Beer, Wine, and Ice," pays homage to the town. They don't have spirits or wine, and it's only in restaurants (the town is technically, "Moist," not "Wet."), so the song takes some poetic liberties. The over all vibe of a party chorus singalong for the late drinking hours, though, that's pretty spot on. “
Tell us about your songwriting process: oftentimes I’ll sit down and spit something out and build upon the idea from there. Start with lyrics or music? A little bit of both.
Advice for new guys starting out: Keep playing, keep practicing, keep writing, keep doing it – and read a lot, and observe and go out to other shows. You have to go to other shows.
Horoscope Sign: Capricorn
Favorite place to eat in Austin: Oh jeze! So many places, all over the entire city...so I guess it depends where you are. There's a place in my neighborhood called Tarbouch, on Oltorf, and their Baba Ganoush is divine. The food of gods.