Session Guitar Great J.T. Corenflos Dies

Top Nashville session musician J.T. Corenflos has died of cancer at age 56.

The guitarist can be heard on the records of such contemporary country hit makers as Eric Church, Chris Janson, Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Dustin Lynch, Little Big Town, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Lee Brice, Josh Turner, Cody Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Dierks Bentey and Jon Pardi.

Jerry Corenflos, known as “J.T.,” was born and raised in Terre Haute, Indiana. He performed in local bands throughout the 1970s and moved to Nashville in 1982. His initial jobs were in the bands of Jean Shepard and Joe Stampley. On the Nashville club scene, he played in The Blue Tick Hounds backing singer-songwriter David Lee Murphy. He has continued to work with Murphy periodically.

In 1990, Corenflos decided to concentrate on studio work. His performances as a guitarist on publishers’ song demos led to being hired for master sessions beginning in 1993.

Generally hired for his electric-guitar prowess, he played on sessions for Tanya Tucker, Rodney Crowell, Big & Rich, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis, Rascal Flatts, LeAnn Rimes, Joe Diffie, Toby Keith, Easton Corbin, John Anderson, Billy Currington, Trace Adkins, Joe Nichols, Aaron Tippin and Sara Evans, among many others.

Corenflos has backed such Country Music Hall of Fame members as George Jones, Alabama, Reba McEntire, George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Alan Jackson and Dolly Parton. Among the pop and rock acts he has recorded with as Bob Seger, Jose Feliciano, Kelly Clarkson, Richard Marx, The Doobie Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Don Henley, Paul Carrack, Cliff Richard and Dobie Gray.

In 2013, the Academy of Country Music named him its Guitar Player of the Year. Corenflos was also regularly cited as one of Nashville’s top session musicians.

J.T. Corenflos issued his solo album in 2015, Somewhere Under the Radar.

His death was announced on social media on Saturday, Oct. 24. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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