Sterling Koch review April 1, 2013…

STERLING KOCH

LET IT SLIDE

FULL FORCE MUSIC  FFM 118

SHAPE I’M IN PT 1–SHAPE I’M IN PT 2–WRONG SIDE OF THE BLUES–MERCURY BLUES–BLOW MY MIND–IT HURTS ME TOO–I DON’T KNOW WHY–LONELY AVENUE–MY BABY’S HOT–I WANNA BE YOUR DRIVER–I ONLY WANT TO BE WITH YOU–WORKING MAN’S BLUES

Sterling Koch (pronounced COOK) played the conventional six-string guitar for some thirty-five years, until a herniated disk injury in 2004 left him only able to play in the form of the lap steel.  But, he has a brilliant talent for this instrument, and now counts among his mentors and friends Slide Brothers alumni Aubrey Ghent and Darick Campbell, and Freddy Roulette.  He has just released his fifth solo CD of slide guitar blues, this one entitled “Let It Slide.”  It consists of eight blistering originals and five covers that showcase Sterling’s boogie-fied approach to slide guitar and his rocked-out vocal style.

Sterling is backed on this one by Gene Babula on bass and John Goba on drums, making this a solid blues power trio, indeed.  Sterling uses a conventional guitar laid across his lap, much the way that the late CeDell Davis used to.  And, he gets a ferocious, huge tone out of this instrument.  Check him out on the slash and slow-burn of “It Hurts Me Too,” and the jumpin’ boogie of Rick Vito’s “My Baby’s Hot,” and “sharp as the fins on a Cadillac car!”

The set kicks off with a cool intro to “The Shape I’m In,” then shifts into the high-octane roadhouse romp of this Doyle Bramhall chestnut.  The covers are great, but it was Sterling’s originals that we enjoyed the most.  The instrumental “Lonely Avenue” sounds as if it could have been the soundtrack to a long-lost Fifties’ film-noir, while “I Wanna Be Your Driver” and the set-closing “Working Man’s Blues” are tailor-made for dancin’ your blues away.  Our favorite was Sterling’s tale of waking up “drownin’ in bad news,” on “The Wrong Side Of The Blues!”

Sterling Koch has crafted an interesting set of rockin’, good-time blues that, as the label says, hit you full force.  So, pop this one in your player, turn it up, and—“Let It Slide!”   Until next time…..Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

 

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