I just received the newest release, Let It Slide from slide guitar master Sterling Koch and it's a blast! I really enjoyed Koch's last release but this one literally blows the doors off! Opening with a short interlude on an acoustic hollow body lap steel Koch opens the carps and lets out with the electric onslaught. Shape I'm In, a countrified blues track with a rock beat, is full bore! You like slide...you've come to the right place! Wrong Side Of The Blues has a more traditional blues rhythm led by Gene Babula on bass and John Goba n drums. Koch has a take no prisoners attack on his slide and even has a bit of wah sound added in. Cool track. We've all heard Mercury Blues done by different artists such as Steve Miller and Dave Lindley but Koch takes his own take on it and it isn't by any means a regular cover tune. Koch is really establishing himself as one of the dominant slide players to watch with his performance on this recording. Blow My Mind has a driving bass and drum line and Koch really is developing as a decent singer to match with his slide guitar playing. Blending both conventional electric and lap steel guitars Koch is giving the steel guitar a new face playing Hendrix and James style riffs. A real standout track on this release is It Hurts Me Too and with a different timbre and attack than other slide players who have covered this track, Koch establishes his as one that should be heard rather than an also played. Too Sorry is a cool Texas style blues track by D. Bramhall and Koch delivers a great rendition of it. I Don't Know Why, another of the 8 original tracks on this release is a bit lower key but shows strong rhythm and enthusiasm. Lonely Avenue is a great ballad style track.. almost like a soundtrack/theme song but played on slide. Nicely done. My Baby's Hot is structured like something right out of Elmore James songbook. Koch's slide work shows real control and taste. I Only Want To Be With You takes a solid dirty blues style but the guitar work is more distinctly lap steel in sound. The riffs are hot and the singing is strong. This guitar is just crying to be rubbed! Ending up with Working Man's Blues, a bit more of a rockin' blues Koch leaves you wanting more. Although I liked Koch's earlier release, I must say this may be the surprise recording for me so far this year. If you really love slide guitar, this is a must have!
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