This past Tuesday saw the official release of the new Scheerhorn resonator guitar tribute CD, Hornography. The CD is put together by renowned resophonic guitar player, recording engineer and producer, Randy Kohrs.
The brainchild of Jimmy Ross, the CD came about after a discussion between Ross, and Tim Scheerhorn at and IBMA tradeshow. Tim suggested they bring Kohrs onboard to engineer and produce. The resulting project includes nearly 50 musicians, a supporting a cast of bluegrass’ best, and 15 all-star resonator guitarists who all play Scheerhorn instruments.
Each track features a different resonator player, with only Kohrs and Tim Scheerhorn himself making more than one appearance. 17 tracks are presented in total, ranging from bluegrass numbers such as Wheel Hoss (performed by Rob Ickes) to Hot Toddy’s Snake Oil (a dual track tune, the first track consisting of some funny banter in the studio).
If you like good acoustic music, especially of the resonator sort, this CD should be on your Christmas wish list. From beginning to end the recording quality and acoustic tones of the instruments met the expectations I’ve come to have of a Randy Kohrs produced project. The purpose of the project is to showcase the Scheerhorn instruments, and it hits that mark with precision.
Some of the tracks have a more distinct “bluegrass” sound to them, namely Rob Ickes’ Wheel Hoss, Andy Hall’s Fishtail, Jack Ferguson’s Carter’s Blues, and Jimmy Ross’ Turnaround. Other tracks take different directions.
One of the standouts to my ear was Primo Duetto for Reso and Viola by Billy Cardine. This classically styled piece had incredible tone and depth with only two instruments in the mix. The textures of the tones were quite emotive and the performance was spectacular. Interestingly, this track was followed by a Kohrs’ version of Robert Johnson’s Dusty My Broom. Kohrs performs on a Scheerhorn Koa Lap Steel on this electric blues number. The contrast between the two tracks is pleasant and reveals the breadth of music genres which converge on this CD.
Another tune that caught my ear was the dark and grooving Drivin’ The Nails by Louis Wamp.
To tell the truth, I enjoyed every track on the disc. The variety of musical styles only serves to highlight the impressiveness of the Scheerhorn family, both instruments and players.
Resonator guitars are the focus of the CD to be sure, but they aren’t the only Scheerhorn creations to be featured on the recording. Already mentioned is the Scheerhorn Lap Steel, but several tracks include acoustic guitars built by Sheerhorn, and one track includes a performance by Scott Vestal on a Scheerhorn Banjo.
Scheerhorn enthusiasts will want this CD for sure, but even if you’re not a Scheerhorn devotee, or even a resonator guitar devotee, if you love great music I would encourage you give this CD a listen. You just might find you’ve become and enthusiast by the end of the last track.
Audio samples and ordering information are available on the Hornography MySpace page.