Randy Kohrs - Quicksand

Randy Kohrs - Quicksand

Rural Rhythm Records

As a resonator guitarist, Randy Kohrs isn’t the likeliest of bandleaders, but with passionate lead vocals matching his significant instrumental skills, Quicksand is evidence that Kohrs is comfortable at the helm.

An assertive break at the beginning of “Devil Of The Trail” kicks off the 13track/43minute disc and captures the adventurous nature of this disc. Most of the tunes feature percussion, which takes it out of the “strictly bluegrass” category, but tracks such as “Time And Time Again” (a high octane number with great instrumental teamwork between Kohrs and Aaron Ramsey on mandolin) are highly listenable. So are Webb Pierce’s honky tonk “It’s Been So Long,” the lyrical “Cumberland,” and the driving “More About John Henry” (a Tom T. Hall track with rock’n’roll-style backing vocals).

The percussion is more fitting on the more modern country sounding tracks; the alcohol soaked trilogy of “Die On The Vine,” “Quicksand,” and “This Must Be The Bottom,” the spooky guy in the woods ballad “The Ghost Of Jack McCline,” the nostalgic “Sunday Clothes,” and “Truman’s Vision” (a protest of eminent domain).

Kohrs’ performance and production win big when he takes the biggest risks, namely on the juke joint blues of “Down Around Clarksville” and the gospel shouter “If You Think It’s Hot Here.” Both feature Kohrs’ bluesy voice at its best, accented by sharp mandolin from Adam Steffey. They are truly stunning tracks that show what can happen when a bluegrass or acoustic artist is willing to step past the confines of the prevailing Nashville sound. (Rural Rhythm Records, P.O. Box 660040, Dept. D, Arcadia, CA 91066, www.ruralrhythm.com.) AKH