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Koch Marshall Trio – Toby Arrives review

Genre: Rock

Label: The Players Club

Released: Out Now


Greg Koch – Guitars

Dylan Koch – Drums

Toby Marshall – Hammond Organ

Track Listing:

  1. Toby Arrives
  2. Funk Meat
  3. Heed The Boogaloo
  4. Let’s Get Sinister
  5. Mysterioso
  6. Enter the Rats
  7. Boogie Yourself Drade
  8. Sin Repent Repeat

There’s nothing wrong with the standard four piece band format of guitar, bass, vocals and drums, but every now and then it is incredibly refreshing to hear a group of talented musicians break away from that. This is exactly what Koch Marshall Trio have done with their debut album Toby Arrives. The three-piece group comprises of guitarist Greg Koch, his son Dylan Koch on drums and Hammond B3 specialist Toby Marshall. On the face of it, the band seem very much like the sort to call a spade a spade, given the simplicity of their name and the fact that their album process began when Toby arrived, but as soon as you hear the music you instantly realise they’re much more complex than that.



How many bands can you think of that would record a completely unrehearsed jam session and use it as the opening track to their album? Not many, I’d bet, but these guys have not only done so but executed it with such intuitive talent that you could easily think title track Toby Arrives had been meticulously crafted and honed to perfection for weeks on end rather than pure improvisation. The bluesy funk tones in the song are truly trademark of Koch Marshall Trio’s work and give you a good idea of what to expect with the rest of the album.

As a whole, the album is very easy listening, but don’t get too comfortable with that thought. The chilled out lounge style feel that you get from a lot of the music is interspersed with tracks like Heed the Boogaloo and Boogie Yourself Drade that are guaranteed to get your foot tapping and your head bobbing. You can really hear the band’s funk influences here, with Marshall’s Hammond organ bringing in some real 80s vibes. The latter of the two songs brings in some jazzy notes too, something that I am a big fan of! This continues in Enter the Rats, which is probably my favourite track on the album and really demonstrates Greg Koch’s incredible skills that earned him his place among the world’s legendary guitar players. After taking you on a virtual tour of their varying styles, the album closes on Sin Repent Repeat, a song that takes you back to their true blue roots.

Despite the evident musical prowess and seemingly telepathic connection that Koch Marshall Trio demonstrate on this album, I can’t help but feel like they’re only just warming up. With a huge melting pot of blues, jazz, funk and home grown country style, this Milwaukee trio have the potential to bring anything they want to the table in future work. If this first offering is anything to go by, their future efforts will truly be something to watch out for.

Score: 8/10

Reviewed by Vikki Luff 


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