Philadelphia-based musician Randy Bowland is a professional guitarist, songwriter, and producer with over thirty years of experience in the industry. Specializing in the genres of funk, soul, and rhythm & blues, Randy has shared the stage and collaborated with countless legends throughout his career including Luther Vandross, Sting, The O’Jays, The Temptations, and The Roots - just to name a few. He is a sought-after touring guitarist and a regular fixture on major televised award shows. Randy also has twenty years under his belt as Music Director at publisher Smoobie Music. Randy’s relationship with PRS Guitars stretches back many years and his feedback and support have been invaluable.
FIVE MINUTES WITH RANDY
PRS: Of all the PRS guitars in your arsenal, it seems that lately you’ve been favoring your amaryllis Fiore. What makes it your go-to model?
Randy: I favor my PRS Fiore because it has been the closest all-in-one guitar that has the Strat single coil, Tele chicken pickin', and humbucker combo guitar that I’ve played. Being a full-time session and touring guitar player, I need all those colors at once and don’t always have to time to switch guitars.
PRS: You’ve performed at a number of high-profile awards ceremonies including the Soul Train & BET Awards. From your perspective as a guitarist, how do these gigs differ from a more traditional gig?
Randy: Well for starters, the preparation is different. Most of these shows require reading charts and you’re learning a large volume of material for various artist for one show! Usually that would entail about 4 or 5 days to learn all of that material with constant changes in production happening! Then when it’s showtime, you’re on camera attempting to nail a flawless performance.
PRS: How did your relationship with PRS Guitars begin? Can you recall your first experience playing one of our guitars?
Randy: My relationship with PRS began when I was introduced to Paul by Chuck Rainey. We were at an event for the Recording Academy called Grammys on the Hill. Paul learned that I’m from Philly and we discovered that we have a mutual musician friend. That sparked a brief conversation where I had a chance to tell Paul how much I love his guitars and had been playing a few at Guitar Center. He invited me to The PRS Experience Summer Festival and we became instant friends! Paul is sweetheart of a guy and a brilliant craftsman!
PRS: Having collaborated with a wide range of artists throughout your career, what would you say is the most valuable thing you’ve learned about working with others?
Randy: I would say the most valuable thing I’ve learned about working with others is: being a chameleon and flexible are great assets. Also, having creative ideas to aid to the process makes you more valuable. Lastly, it’s healthy to have good, trusting relationships with others because it can present many opportunities and a pleasant working experience with others.
PRS: Where can we expect to see and hear you in 2023? Are there any new projects that we should be keeping an ear out for?
Randy: You will be able to see me this year touring with the artist Kem, which starts on Feb 3rd. It’s a 31-city tour. Also, I will be performing with the artist Will Downing for numerous show dates AND you’ll hear some new music that I’ve co-written and co-produced for Will’s new album. Many new albums that I’ve played on for various artist. You’ll see me doing a handful of Award Shows. Lastly, I am in the process of finishing up a handful of songs for my debut solo release. I will be releasing an EP this summer and an album later in the year. Stay tuned!!
Randy was a featured artist in our HDRX amplifier launch, watch him play and speak about the amp in the 3 minute mark of the video below:
Photo credit: kdmorris photography