A lifelong musician with a background in musical theater, early music, and the 1980s Boston indie pop scene, Randall Kromm reinvented himself as a folksinger in 2009 and soon realized he'd found his musical home. Playing at coffeehouses, open mikes, and clubs in the greater Boston area, Randall quickly distinguished himself as a songwriter and performer. In the years since, he has performed sold-out shows at Club Passim, New England's premier folk venue, released four CDs, Water Wheel (2011), Holidays and Homecomings (2011), Time Won’t Let Us Stay (2014), and Rough and Polished Stones (2017), and received a multitude of accolades from the music community, including Christine Lavin and Don White.
Randall is an adherent to the principle of writing what you know, Randall composing beautifully crafted songs of ordinary life that focus on themes of family, relationships, and growing older with wit and insight. His most recent CD, Rough and Polished Stones, was chosen by Folk DJ Rich Warren of the Midnight Special radio program as “Rich’s pick” for the month of October 2017 and in 2018 received a glowing review in the premier roots music publication No Depression. The review lauds Randall’s effective songwriting across a variety of genres, comparing it to the work of Hank Williams and Towns Van Zandt, and concludes: “Randall is covering a genre that Tom Waits isn’t, that Leonard Cohen touched upon but never developed, that Buddy Miller and John Prine do but always seem to pour a little vinegar in. Kromm pours no whiskey into his tunes. They are just wholeheartedly the truth – the naked truth.”
A prolific songwriter, Randall frequently returns to the studio, often joined by his two oldest daughters, Emma and Grace, talented singers in their own right who have a natural gift for harmony. Randall currently working on a new CD of holiday-themed songs, Sentimental Season, due to be released on October 1, 2018. Randall also performs regularly at folk venues in and around Boston.
What people are saying
Christine Lavin, a nationally touring folksinger, has hailed Randall's song "Water Wheel" as a "modern classic" and "a new folk standard." New England performing legend Don White covered the song "Water Wheel" on his 2010 release Winning Streak. White, who has recorded 11 CDs, had never covered another artist's music, but says the song "spoke to me deeply and immediately. My hope is that now lots of people will make the effort to discover the work of this very talented man."
Dan Cloutier, host of the Amazing Things Arts Center open mike and founder of Birch Beer
Records, concurs: "Simply put, Randall Kromm is a masterful songwriter. He has the rare ability to look into the life of the common American and see the joys and pains we all have."
Veteran folk performer Tom Smith agrees, saying "Randall’s songs of common life, love, family, hopes, and uncertainty are presented like a conversation with a friend over a dinner table. Intelligent yet fun, relaxed yet musically interesting, introspective yet universal – I find my thoughts returning to his music long after each performance."
Raised in Manhattan, Kansas, Randall grew up on the Kingston Trio, Joan Baez, and the Beatles. He attended Williams College in Western Massachusetts, then moved to Boston, where he worked as a grant writer and union organizer and played in rock bands by night. Several years later, Randall shifted his career into law and public policy at Harvard University. Randall lives in the greater Boston area with his wife, Pam, three daughters and a son.