Chris Kohn
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Chris Kohn

Janesville, Wisconsin, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Janesville, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter




"Live TV Interview and Performance"

This is a live interview and performance from April 14, 2014. - WTMJ4 - NBC Milwaukee

"Teacher does extra-credit project: A new CD"

Teacher does extra-credit project: A new CD

By Ann Fiore,

JANESVILLE—A number of Chris Kohn's fans can't make all of his shows. They don't have their driver's licenses yet, and some of the gigs last past bedtime.

Fortunately, Kohn sometimes brings his guitar into his fourth-grade classroom at Harrison Elementary School. He might sing a song about multiplication tables or perform at a school fundraiser or Christmas show.

"I don't think they've ever seen me play with a full band before," Kohn said.

But Kohn's students can see their teacher and his band—The Two-Ton Heavy Thing—on Saturday, when he holds a release party in Janesville for his first CD, "Hidden Pearl."

While Kohn often covers other artists when he performs locally, he also has written at least 30 original songs. Some of those made it onto the new CD.

"I have done other recordings, but I wanted a full band on these songs," he said. "… It gives more life to them."

Kohn, 34, said he has always loved music—Pearl Jam is his favorite band—but he didn't teach himself to play guitar until late in high school.

He played for a while in a band called Remedy at Carroll College in Waukesha, but it wasn't a good fit. After the band broke up, he played guitar in coffee shops and other small venues—an experience that made him a better musician.

"There's such a difference in confidence, in how and what I play," Kohn said.

He describes his music as a blend of acoustic rock, funk, jazz and soul. His songs explore relationships with parents, significant others, "tough situations." He has written songs about meeting his wife, Hallie, and about the birth of his sons, Oliver and Marlon.

"It's just good to write about these things, and then to play them (songs)—it's such a release," he said.

In making the CD, Kohn asked for a little help from his friends.

Jesse Korleski and Zach May, who play in Grey Matter Mechanics, performed on the CD, and Korleski recorded and produced it.

Kohn also invited fans—he calls them "Kohnheads"—to donate, and they contributed $1,200 to offset the production costs.

"It was cool," he said. "It makes you think that people believe in what you do.

"I can't tell you how pumped up I am about this." - Janesville Gazette


HIDDEN PEARL - June 11, 2013



Chris Kohn is an established singer songwriter who writes original music that is acoustic, organic, powerful and full of emotion. It's something new and captivating. A blend of acoustic rock, funk, jazz and soul all served up on a single platter. Songs can be deeply moving and emotional, while others are laid back jams with some mellow vocals laid on top. At shows, there is something for everyone - whether it is a new take on a cover song, or an original that draws you in - people leave happy at the end of the night.

Growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a child of the 90's, Chris was heavily influenced by Pearl Jam in his youth and continues to pull from that today. "Eddie Vedder is easily my biggest influence as far as writing from the heart goes, and for inspiration." Milwaukee is a regular stop for mostly anyone touring the US, which was a blessing for a music lover. Live music was a huge part of growing up for Chris and he saw shows by all of the big acts that came through, plus tons of smaller shows. Finally, in late high school, he picked up a guitar himself, but it didn't really take until the latter part of college. Joining the band Remedy, Chris got his first taste of writing original music. "I was the so-called lead guitarist, but I had no right to be a lead. I'm rhythm all the way." Once Remedy broke up, Chris was forced to come up with his own sound and write his own way. After a few years of playing live shows and writing, Chris is finally releasing his debut CD "Hidden Pearl" on June 11, 2013.

Chirs performs as a three piece (Chris Kohn & The Two Ton Heavy Thing), as a duo (w/ Conga/percussionist Zach Maher or with blues guitarist/singer John Splan), or solo.

Band Members