Koch Marshall Trio Debut "Toby Arrives"
KOCH MARSHALL TRIO with DAVID GRISSOM
SPECIAL GUEST: TOMMY BENTZ BAND
VENUE: THE HOOK AND LADDER
MARCH 29, 2018
All content by: Patrick Dunn
After what was a standout year in 2017, the Twin Cities has continued to attract an impressive variety of quality live music options to our thriving scene. My favorite recent example of this was the Koch-Marshall Trio show at The Hook and Ladder on March 29th. This high caliber Blues fueled live jam was at a level far above what you’d ever anticipate from a new project out in support of a debut album.
I refer to this kind of show as a “hidden gem”, which by nature tends to attract an audience stacked with dedicated music fanatics who didn’t just happen to be there because a friend dragged them along. Although I think the audience had an idea of what to expect, they really went crazy for this show as their expectations were quickly exceeded and their excitement added great energy to the overall vibe. Many had already witnessed the gristle laden guitar stylings of Greg Koch being from relatively nearby Milwaukee and also through his work promoting Fender and Custom Shop dealer Wildwood Guitars. His son Dylan Koch (drums) actually played a critical role in the Trio’s formation having encouraged the first jam session with Hammond B3 expert Toby Lee Marshall that ended up producing the album’s title track “Toby Arrives”.
It’s always fun to experience Greg’s clever sense of humor during a clinic or demo session, but he was more serious than silly on this outing and gave his Telecaster one heck of a workout. The new material covers an eclectic range of styles and the Trio meticulously reproduced pretty much all of it live, a task nothing short of daunting. The interaction between the three added great entertainment value as Greg and Toby traded some epic solo lines complete with grimacing facial expressions, while father and son were subtly in-synch on some unspoken higher level. As if all of this talent combined wasn’t enough to make you want to practice harder or wrap it up altogether, famed Austin guitarist David Grissom rose the bar even higher contributing on some trio material as well as one of his own compositions that was pretty fantastic and well received.
A supporting set by the Tommy Bentz Band provided a great primer to the evening and included Greg on a tune for an early warm-up and teaser of what lay ahead. The Hook and Ladder provided just the right environment and dialed in a solid mix, a pretty critical detail in delivering this instrumental performance as it was intended to be heard.