KOCH MARSHALL TRIO TOBY ARRIVES


The debut album from The Koch Marshall Trio is unashamedly blues-based but also throws in country, jazz, country and rock. Toby Lee Marshall has come out of retirement and lends his versatility and verve to the B3 Hammond organ on the album.

The titular opening track heralds the lazy Sunday jam feel that runs through the album. There is some superb improvisation, innovation and some fast and furious playing from the whole trio. Funk Meat lays down some more direct and memorable riffs, it's obvious the band are warming up at this point. On the whole, it's an exceptionally well-played album and it feels as if these guys could go on forever; and they do which becomes an issue if you like a bit more structure.

Boogie Yourself Dread starts off 'kicking the groove' but becomes just too repetitive. Greg Koch is a talented player and has spent a lot of time giving guitar demonstrations and on various setups and is used to jamming, but perhaps a little too much. In places, he lacks the subtleties of other instrumentalists like Larry Carlton and his high pitched shredding style can become a bit grating after a while. Heed The Boogaloo leads into some well worn Hendrix licks and gives the impression of just rocking an old familiar groove, sadly being done to death.

There's a clear synergy between the band and their ability to feed off each other can clearly be heard from the first bar. It's experimental in places, but it all too often sound like a jam session or a demo that has been committed to tape rather than taking any clear shape and form. Despite its name Lets Get Sinister gives you goosebumps for all the wrong reasons and the guitar work is often messy and abrasive.

The influences are all there, but as an album it overly improvisational style means it often struggles with lack of direction. As a jam session, it's competent and there's some worthy material here that could have been adapted into more structured songs, but all too often you end up hearing sections repeated and wish the band would develop this into something more. The Hammond is never given the floor space that it deserves and the drums all too often take a back seat to the overly dominant guitar part. As a jam, it's pretty good fun, but as an album, it needs a bit more toasting.

Groupie Rating 2/5

#blues

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