Toby Arrives Launching Koch Marshall Trio

Toby Arrives Launching Koch Marshal Trio

Toby Arrives Launching Koch Marshall Trio

Gregg Koch, uber guitarist, self-titled ‘ King Of Gristle’, practicer of necromantic six-string sorcery, certainly knows a thing or two about a thing or two. So, it was with some trepidation after finally agreeing to his son ( and drummer ) Dylan’s relentless requests, that they booked a studio to jam with Hammond B3 maestro Toby Marshall.

You can feel the utter joyorific amazement on ‘Toby Arrives’, the first song, that also gave the album its title. Those very first never-played-together-before notes are captured here for us lucky people to witness this universal alignment of talent extraordinaire. The resultant shuffle in G allows the listener that rare view of musicians ‘feeling each other out’, creating sparks and trading energies. The sense that the three smiles on those faces grew wider as the song progresses is impossible to ignore. Interplay, chemistry, call it what you will, but yes, Toby certainly has ‘arrived’.

The first signing to Mascot Label Group’s new ‘Players Club’, Koch Marshall Trio present ‘Toby Arrives’ in an organ trio format, with Toby Marshall’s Hammond bass pedals filling out any lack of low end. Second song ‘Funk Meat’ is a one-chord funk feel jam, with straight drums and a cool groove. Gregg’s biting Telecaster howls, moans, snarls and squeaks but always plays for the song. When you have a trick bag as full as Gregg’s it’s easy to show off but on ‘Funk Meat’ and throughout Gregg and Toby showcase but not clutter. It’s Toby and the roaring Hammond B3 that provide the biggest lifts, you can hear Dylan react to the energy with great dynamism.

Production throughout is bold, nice big and full bass, live recorded ( mostly ) in the studio. Dylan Koch’s drums could be higher in the mix for my taste. They tend to get a little lost here and there. He plays more of an accompanist role and it’s a shame he isn’t given just one chance to show his obvious chops. You can hear the youth but the groove is strong with Koch Jr, and he’s got a bright future ahead.

The lead song from the album, ‘ Heed The Boogaloo’ is a quirky, catchy, can’t get it out of your head number, with a classic familiar pounding bass line. The head is nodding once more, with great groove drumming on the beat. Gregg’s motif guitar part is full of his trademark sass, swagger and humour. Again he takes the first solo, country chicken-pickin’ meets Robben Ford, propelling the tune along, with lovely ‘outside’ notes that tease the ear. Toby sticks to more conventional pentatonics, but the energetic roaring Hammond lifts again raise Dylan, resulting in Gregg’s bar raised even further with another world-class lead break.

Stand out track for me is the 9 plus minutes of ‘Mysterioso’, where at last Dylan gets a showcase and takes us away from the bluesy and into Jeff Beck territory, with a great groove. Another flavour from Gregg with a spacey delay, coupled with an almost psychedelic Hammond. This song needs an oil light show, a get stoned on the music prog rock delight. Gregg also shows us what an influence Derek Trucks is on the guitar world with some of his trademark slide licks, trippy, trance-like and triumphant at the climax.

‘Toby Arrives’ is the sort of album you could stack alongside a Thelonius Monk record, a Jeff Beck record or a Mike Landau record. If you went for one of the other three and got this by mistake your day wouldn’t be ruined. Throw in Albert Collins and Albert Lee and you get the picture. The last track ‘Sin Repent Repeat’ is a sign of things to come. This initial meeting and resultant jams could progress to present more composition such as on this number, with an overdubbed acoustic and at last a louder drum mix flowing in a slide led groove that rounds things up perfectly.

As a live concert momento, and a capture the moment jam ‘Toby Arrives’ works perfectly. Whether you’ll still be listening in a week, month or year I’m not sure. Musicians will steal licks and talk tones, but all will look forward with eagerness to the follow-up, ‘Toby Has Been Here A While Now Let’s Get Down To Business’.

Pendragon for Bluesdoodles gives Koch Marshall Trio ‘Toby Arrives’ a jamtastic

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Out via Mascot Label Group 23rd February 2018

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

    Toby Arrives Launching Koch Marshal Trio

Bootsy Collins Capturing World Wide Funk

Bootsy Collins Capturing World Wide Funk

Bootsy Collins Capturing World Wide Funk

One of funk music’s great pioneers, greatest bass players, rock and roll hall of famer and delightful eccentric Bootsy Collins is back with new release ‘World Wide Funk’ on Mascot Label Group. Following a 7 year hiatus, and at 66 years young the funk is stronger than ever on these 15 stupendous tracks of funkology.

” I wanted to make a musical monster that was born between a pee hole and a a..hole” says Bootsy, and the former James Brown bassist manages to steal the soul godfather’s moves, grooves and funk truths. This album LAYS IT DOWN from the first cut ‘World Wide Funk’ to the last ‘Illusions’. Bombastic, pristine production, each track is full of flavours ear teasers and flow, all the more realised with subsequent listens. You will play this record over and over.

Stellar special guest including amongst others Doug E Fresh and guitarist Buckethead, deliver P Funk influenced head bobbing, groovy, pimped out FUNK to a 2018 audience. Quirky, out there, sometimes risqué, sometimes political, always musical, always funky! Propelled by the unmistakable king of basslines, Bootsy brings aura, humour, psychedelic glow from star shine. ‘World Wide Funk’ envelopes you with the groove, caresses every fibre and music receptor of soul and spirit.

Bass legends Stanley Clark and Victor Wooten trade licks on ‘ Bass-Rigged-System’ and Bootsy makes room for rap stars such as MC Eiht, Musiq Soulchild and rising singing star Tyshawn Colquitt, who shines on ‘Snowbunny’. It’s easy to see the huge future of this Apollo Theatre ‘Amateur Night’ winner.

There is so much going on it’s hard to take it all in, in a good way. You just know you have to listen again and again. Bootsy’s soft and sultry vocals drift up, down, through and around reinforcing the funk with commentary, wit, spaced out wordplay and enticing ‘ come-ons’ to the soloists to ‘Bring It!’.

There is no filler, are no skip tracks and all tracks stand out and up on their own merit. Albums aren’t made like this anymore too often. ‘ World Wide Funk’ is classic P-Funk and modern groove funk that’s as relevant today as it was back in the platform shoe Funkadelic heyday. Bootsy is the Jimi Hendrix of the bass and the guru of the groove. The genuine ‘Brother Nature’, a superstar, a funkmeister.

‘World Wide Funk’ is essential listening, a slam dunk P-Funk gem for all fans of the beautifully weird feelgood eccentric chaos. The link, the glue, the route from pioneer to the innovator. A major talent, a major record.

Every citizen of funkland needs ‘World Wide Funk’, we are blessed to walk in Bootsy Collins purple, sparkly, ‘on the one’ world.

Funk yeah!

Pendragon for Bluesdoodles gives ‘World Wide Funk’ a ‘we are not worthy’

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …


Track Listing:

  1. World Wide Funk
  2. Bass-Rigged System
  3. Pusherman
  4. Thera-P
  5. Hot Saucer
  6. Heaven Yes
  7. Ladies Nite
  8. Candy Coated Lover
  9. Snowbunny
  10. Hi-Heels
  11. Salute To Bernie
  12. Boomerang
  13. Worth My While
  14. Comeback
  15. Illusions

Bootsy Collins Capturing World Wide Funk

Tommy Emmanuel Joined By Superb Artists on Accomplice One

Tommy Emmanuel Joined By Superb Artists on Accomplice One

Tommy Emmanuel Joined By Superb Artists on Accomplice One

A full two years in the making, the brand new album Accomplice One from Australian guitar master Tommy Emmanuel finally lands on Bluesdoodle’s desk. Oh boy, it was sure worth the wait. This time around Tommy has opted to share centre stage with some heavyweight company – all 16 tracks of the album have guest artists featured.
Now it takes a great talent to complement a great talent, and with names such as Mark Knopfler, Ricky Skaggs and Jason Isbell joining Tommy, what we have here is a veritable aural feast.

Things kick off in style and the album mood is set perfectly with ‘Deep River Blues’. Four-time Grammy winner Jason Isbell joins Tommy on an exquisite Blind Lemon Jeffersonesque journey through a riverside blues lament. Exemplary vocals from both. Production is exactly as it should be, the twang of the strings could ruffle your hair and with each singers breath, it could be pulled back in place. Raw, but not ragged, slick when it needs to be, in the room and magnificent.

Ricky Skaggs appears next up, bringing his country storytelling to ‘Song And Dance Man’; surely an autobiographical cut from Tommy; a chronicle of a life lived on the road, town to town, striving for the next show.

Jefferson Airplane guitar legend Jorma Kaukonen and Nashville session harmonica king Pat Bergeson are next up on ‘Saturday Night Shuffle’. “You’re a bad ass cat man!” says Tommy on the intro, acknowledging the skills of both to come. This trio of talent certainly had a ball recording this track, as the shouts of appreciation and mutual respect bounce back and forth.

Up and coming blues/rock psychedelic J D Simo brings his lightning Don Kelley Band Telecaster back out for the first appearance of an electric guitar thus far on ‘Wheelin’ & Dealin”. Emmanuel’s Django acoustic sets the tone but firebrand JD has a few tricks of his own too. Fretboard fireworks to compliment, then up steps Clarksville born banjo legend Charlie Cushman with a searing last solo. Definitely one for the pickers and grinners out there.

What is clear and apparent throughout is that with all of the tremendous talents on show there is never ego, overshadow or dominance. Every track is born from mutual respect and healthy competition.

A cover of ‘Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay’ can be hard to do convincingly but Emmanuel, again joined by JD Simo present a reggae-tinged feel which doesn’t make you long for Otis, but rather sway from side to side in admiration.

The surprise standout track for this reviewer is a cover of Madonna’s early hit ‘Borderline’. The delicate country vocal and sublime violin of Amanda Shires expose this 80s dance track as the great song it really was all along. The 6/8 waltz time improves the original composition, it is truly magical.

A Mark Knopfler song and duet – ‘ You Don’t Want To Get You One Of Those’ is a tale of a favourite rust bucket money pit auto we’ve all had and loved. And miss. Delivered in typical Knopfler fashion, it’s so great to hear Tommy and Mark together on record.

There aren’t many good covers of ‘Purple Haze’ out there. Resonator magician Jerry Douglas assists Tommy in just about making it work, although this version resembles Yardbirds breakout hit ‘For Your Love’ a little rather than the Hendrix anthem.

Tommy’s love of gypsy jazz is always apparent, and what better way to take us to the Hot Club Du France than with virtuoso duo Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo, accompanying on ‘Djangology’, a delightful stroll down the Rue De Rivoli on a warm summers evening.

Suzy Bogguss duets with Tommy’s as always astounding acoustic on the beautiful album finale ‘The Duke’s Message’, a soft and gentle closing before the inevitable ‘play the whole album again’ urge kicks in.

16 tracks of majestic musicianship might get tedious for non-musicians, but interspersed between the jamming and fine fretwork are some gems of heartfelt beauty that any fan will appreciate. Guitarists, of course, will marvel but Accomplice One has enough taste to match the tones, enough subtlety to match the shenanigans and enough dynamic interludes to match the dynamite.

A wonderful piece of work from a fine musician.

Pendragon for Bluesdoodles gives Accomplice One a masterly

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …


Track Listing:

    1. Deep River Blues
    2. Song And Dance Man
    3. Saturday Night Shuffle
    4. Wheelin’ & Dealin’
    5. C-Jam Blues
    6. (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay
    7. Borderline
    8. You Don’t Want To Get You One Of Those
    9. Keepin’ It Reel
    10. Looking Forward To The Past
    11. Purple Haze
    12. Rachel’s Lullaby
    13. Djangology
    14. Watson Blues
    15. Tittle Tattle
    16. The Duke’s Message

Tommy Emmanuel –  Accomplice One – Mascot Label Group

Tommy Emmanuel Joined By Superb Artists on Accomplice One

Spiritus Powerhouse Blues from Jane Lee Hooker

Spiritus Powerhouse Blues from Jane Lee HookerSo, we reach 2018 and what better way to kick-start the New Year than with a dose of high energy, punky blues/rock. Enter New York 5 piece, all-girl powerhouse Jane Lee Hooker, who kicked the scene door down with 2016 debut album ‘No B’, a collection of blues covers done with atypical New York grit and punk attitude. With former members of Nashville Pussy in the ranks, it’s no surprise then that follow up ‘Spiritus’ continues with that same East Coast swagger.

Opener ‘How Ya Doin’ is a front row, in your face, high energy insight into what Jane Lee Hooker do best – a kick-ass live show. Immediately striking are the astonishing vocals of lead singer Dana ‘Danger’ Athens, made even more impressive by the obvious live-feel recording of Spiritus. Production is raw, real and honest throughout this and all other tracks on the album. Forget finesse, forget technique, forget polish. Think punk attitude, think Brooklyn sleaze, think garage band-gang on a mission. A nod to Mick and Keef here, a wink to rock and roll rebellion there.

Spiritus manages to steal the infectious boogie from band name inspiration John on stand out tracks ‘Black Rat’ and ‘Be My Baby’. The latter would be a radio favourite if it were trimmed down to the catchy chorus and hooks sans the unnecessaries. In a Blues/rock world full of pedal board heroes and perfection we tend to forget some of the best songs are just attitude and adrenaline. Perhaps with a ‘one-eye-on-radio’ producer, JLH could have aimed more of this ten song set at commerciality. You get the feeling however that Spiritus is a ‘ this is how we would be live’ record, a token of the no doubt blistering live show. You’re not here to admire lyrical prowess or originality, you’re here to sweat, scream, pump fist and pogo.

Things do get more chilled with gospel-tinged ‘How Bright The Moon’. Dana takes us to church with a heartfelt vocal, perhaps the highlight album vocal, which sets up this piano-led breather ballad as a welcome interlude. No rest for the wicked though as the same church has its roof blown off by ‘Turn On Your Love Light’, evoking memories of cartwheeling Jake and Elwood captivated by the Reverend Cleophus James in the Blues Brothers movie.

The final song, ‘The Breeze’ is an as-the-sun-comes-up, sore head, loose slow blues jam; doesn’t really go anywhere other than ’round and ’round the post-party, bottle-strewn club. Self-indulgent, but the perfect remedy for the partied out, spinning and ready to drop.

Spiritus –

Lacks originality? Maybe – Lacks technical prowess? Maybe – Lacks direction? Slightly

Who cares, Spiritus is a window to an epic live show, a night of nights, a sweat addled assault on the primal senses. Not to be judged in any other way. Go to a show, buy the album and relive that night over and over with a wry smile.

Pendragon for Bluesdoodles gives Jane Lee Hooker Spiritus a splendid

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing:

  1. How Ya Doin?
  2. Gimme That
  3. Mama Said
  4. Be My Baby
  5. Later On
  6. Black Rat
  7. Ends Meet
  8. How Bright
  9. Turn on Your Love Light
  10. The Breeze

Spiritus Powerhouse Blues from Jane Lee Hooker