I make much mention of the immaculate PineCastle label when it comes to bluegrass and other roots musics, but those guys are gonna hafta shove over a bit and make room for Rural Rhythms, home to Audie Blaylock, Michael Martin Murphey, the Lonesome River Band, and others, not to mention this guy, Randy Kohrs, and the legendary Bill Emerson (here). Like Ernie Thacker, Nothin' Fancy, Special Concensus, and the paradigmatic PineCastle notables, Kohrs is dyed in the wool with gin-yoo-wine backwoods sonorities and heart.
Nor are his acumen and sound ignored by instrument manufacturers, 'cause the list of endorsees is as long as your arm. That uniqueness, however, extends to a ringing vocal presence. Couple it with a way in crafting and selecting songs that turns words to tickling the ear and intriguing the brain, readily shown in the Jesus song If You Think it's Hot Here, and you've got a full spectrum artist. That particular song is by Mike Henderson and Robert Stockton, but Kohrs is capable of his own great co-writing, as in The Ghost of Jack McCline, a wistful tune about fell doings and a guy who refused to sell out.
The musicianship here is bristlingly sharp even when mellow, every player an ace dealt from the top of the deck and underwriting Kohrs' plaintive wheatfield wail as if brushstrokes in an N.C. Wyeth painting. From start to finish, Quicksand is a feast of bluegrass, Appalachian, country, and other musics adeptly penned and played, the sort of thing to make even Sam Bush, who tipped in the liner's introductory accolades, smile from ear to ear as he sits back on the verandah and watches the sun set slowly in the west.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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