Randy Kohrs

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Randy Kohrs
BornNew Virginia, Iowa
GenresBluegrass music, country music
Occupation(s)Musician, recording engineer
Instrument(s)Acoustic and electric resonator guitar, acoustic and electric guitar, lap steel guitar, pedal steel guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, banjo, upright bass[1]
Years active1995–present
LabelsLonesome Day, Rural Rhythm, Left of Center

Randy Alan Kohrs[2] is an American multi-instrumentalist best known for his resonator guitar prowess, but he plays 13 instruments. He is also a Grammy-winning producer and recording engineer.[3]


Early years[edit]

Kohrs was raised on a farm near the rural town of New Virginia, Iowa. He learned acoustic guitar from his uncle at age 8, quickly followed by resonator guitar. In his teens, Kohrs played with the Missouri bluegrass band Possum Trot. He played with them for 10 years, while also fronting a local country band. He continued to learn other instruments, including electric guitar, drums, mandolin, banjo, pedal steel, and bass.[4]

Early career[edit]

In 1995, Kohrs moved to Nashville, where Hank Williams III hired him to play in his band, then he toured in support of Tom T. Hall.[4][5][6]

In 1998, he joined David Parmley, Scott Vestal and Continental Divide, singing tenor playing dobro. He contributed his skills to the album Feel Good Day.[7]

Then Kohrs toured with Holly Dunn for two years, and joined the John Cowan Band in 2000, playing on the album Always Take Me Back.[8]

Kohrs backed Patty Loveless on a taping of PBS' Austin City Limits television show. In 2003, Kohrs toured with Dolly Parton in her band the Blueniques, playing on three of her albums and performing as her opening act.[9][10]

Solo career[edit]

In 2001, Kohrs released his first solo album A Crack in My Armour on Junction Records, and formed his own band The Lites. Guests on the album included Scott Vestal, Rickie Simpkins, and Stuart Duncan.

Kohrs followed up in 2003 with the album Now It’s Empty on his own Left Of Center label. The album featured John Hughey on pedal steel and James Mitchell on electric guitar.[4]

Kohrs' next album was I’m Torn in 2004, which featured a duet with Dolly Parton on "It Looked Good On Paper."[11][12]

In 2007, Kohrs released the Old Photograph album, which featured Scott Vestal and Scott Haas on banjo, Jim Hurst, Clay Hess and Andrew Crawford on guitar, Tim Crouch and Ashley Brown on fiddle, Aaron Ramsey and Jesse Cobb on mandolin, and Jim Weaver and Darren Vincent on bass.

In 2009, Kohrs released the album Quicksand on Rural Rhythm Records with Aaron Ramsey and Adam Steffey on mandolin. Kohrs composed five of the songs on the album.[13]

Other projects[edit]

Kohrs is a recording engineer and producer, and operates Slack Key studios in Nashville, where he has recorded Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Hank Williams III, Jim Lauderdale, and others.[14]

In 2009, Jimmy Ross introduced the concept of a compilation album dedicated to luthier Tim Scheerhorn.[15] Besides producing, engineering and mixing the album Hornography, he released it on his Left of Center label. The album featured Kohrs, Ross, Scheerhorn, Rob Ickes, and resonator guitar artists.[16]


In 2007, Kohrs won a Grammy award for his contributions to Jim Lauderdale's album The Bluegrass Diaries.[17]

Kohrs being nominated numerous times for Dobro Player of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Personal life[edit]

Kohrs proposed to his wife Shaunna Larkin onstage during a Dolly Parton concert.[18][19] They got married in a ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in September 2003.[20]

Randy Kohrs married fiddler and vocalist Ashley Brown in April 2011 and divorced in 2017.[21]


Solo albums[edit]

  • 2001 A Crack in My Armour (Junction Records)[22]
  • 2003 Now It’s Empty (Left of Center) as Randy Kohrs and the Reel Deal
  • 2004: I'm Torn (Lonesome Day)[23]
  • 2007: Old Photograph (Rural Rhythm)[24]
  • 2009: Quicksand (Rural Rhythm)[25]

As producer[edit]

  • 2006: Jim Lauderdale - Bluegrass (Yep Roc)
  • 2007: Jim Lauderdale - The Bluegrass Diaries (Yep Roc)
  • 2011: Jim Lauderdale - Reason And Rhyme: Bluegrass Songs By Robert Hunter and Jim Lauderdale (Sugar Hill)
  • 2012: Jim Lauderdale - Carolina Moonrise (Sky Crunch)
  • 2014: Jim and Lynna Woolsey - The Road That Brings You Home (Broken Record)

As engineer[edit]

  • 2008: various artists - Hornography (Left of Center)
  • 2012: Lou Reid and Carolina - Callin' Me Back Home (KMA)

Also appears on[edit]


  1. ^ staff writer (June 13, 2001). "Randy Kohrs". BMI. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "DON'T LET YOUR WOUNDED HEART COME BETWEEN US". ASCAP. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved April 26, 2023.
  3. ^ "Randy Kohrs Talks Resonator Guitars at the Country Music Hall of Fame". Guitar Player. October 26, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Taylor Brashears, Jon Weisberger & more". Music City Roots. April 5, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  5. ^ Morris, David (January 17, 2015). "Remembering Miss Dixie". Bluegrass Today. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  6. ^ James Calemine. "Tom T. Hall Sings Miss Dixie & Tom T." Swampland. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  7. ^ John Lawless (July 1, 1998). "Continental Divide - Feel Good Day - Pinecastle 1073". North West Bluegrass News. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  8. ^ "John Cowan". The Ampflier. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  9. ^ Cardwell, Nancy (July 22, 2011). The Words and Music of Dolly Parton: Getting to Know Country's "Iron Butterfly". ISBN 9780313378041. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  10. ^ Mark Wedel (January 7, 2009). "Randy Kohrs will juggle musical genres at Cooper's Glen Music Festival". Kalamazoo Gazette. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  11. ^ "Randy Kohrs - I'm Torn". Yup Tab. May 14, 2009. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  12. ^ Bill Groll (April 1, 2005). "I'm Torn: Randy Kohrs". True West. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  13. ^ John Walker. "Randy Kohrs: Quicksand". Country Standard Time. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  14. ^ Schultz, Barbara (July 1, 2007). "Randy Kohrs' Slack-Key Studio: Tearing it Up on Both Sides of the Glass". Mix Online. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  15. ^ "Various Artists: Hornography". Bluegrass Unlimited. October 1, 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  16. ^ Brance (November 5, 2008). "Hornography". Bluegrass Today. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  17. ^ "GRAMMY Award Results for Randy Kohrs". The Recording Academy. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  18. ^ Craig Shelburne (July 22, 2002). "Dolly Parton, Live: Here She Comes Again". CMT. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  19. ^ "Larkin girls leave the family circle". The Augusta Chronicle. August 22, 2003. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  20. ^ Congratulations, Shaunna and Randy!, dollymania.net
  21. ^ Randy Kohrs and the Blind Boys of Alabama, bluegrasstoday.com, May 17, 2011
  22. ^ John Lupton. "Randy Kohrs: A Crack In My Armour". Country Standard Time. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  23. ^ Weisberger, Jon (February 28, 2005). "Randy Kohrs - Im Torn". No Depression. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  24. ^ Steven Stone (July 1, 2007). "Randy Kohrs - Old Photograph". Vintage Guitar. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  25. ^ "Review: Randy Kohrs - Quicksand". Bluegrass Unlimited. May 1, 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2017.

External links[edit]