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Randy Kohrs

Old Photograph – 2007 (Rural Rhythm)

Reviewed by Tim FitzPatrick

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CDs by Randy Kohrs

Randy Kohrs is demonstrating its relevance to contemporary bluegrass as well. Kohrs, an accomplished resophonic guitarist and session musician, acts as songwriter, singer, bandleader and producer. While proficient at all of these, it's the latter two that define the effort.

He assembled a strong stable of musicians, including guitarists Jim Hurst and Clay Hess, mandolinist Jesse Cobb and banjo player Scott Vestal. He challenges his band in his arrangements, with inventive introductions, agile split breaks and ear-catching key changes.

While hot licks abound, Kohrs' singing is at the front of the mix. He has a strong voice and forceful delivery, which, at times, borders on turgidity. He surrounds himself with talent, including Don Rigsby. Melinda Doolittle contributes harmonies, and Rhonda Vincent makes "Don't Let Your Wounded Heart Come Between Us" a winning duet.

The end result is hard-hitting bluegrass/acoustic country record, which will have particular appeal to those drawn to the more modern side of the genre.