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It doesn’t take long to figure out why Milwaukee, WI resident, guitarist, Greg Koch resides as a first call session musician for radio and TV advertisements. Hence, the artist displays his multifaceted talents during his debut for guitarist, Steve Vai’s “Favored Nations” record label.
Basically, Koch possesses enviable chops, yet seems adept and undeniably at ease performing from within a variety of contexts. Besides various personnel changes, the leader opts for the guitar, drums, and bass format, although harmonica performer, Steve Cohen lends his talents to the piece titled “Defenstrator.” Meanwhile, the guitarist works his way through a series of blues, rockabilly, surf, and hard rock grooves that generally span three to five minutes in length. Koch also renders a justifiably hard-edged spin on Hendrix’ “Spanish Castle Magic,” where he utilizes his electric guitar equipped whammy bar to great effect. Here, Koch viciously disfigures a series of scathing lead lines while seemingly inflicting pain upon his axe of choice. However, not all of these seventeen works hold up for the long haul, as a sense of invariability permeates the proceedings about mid-way through the set. Otherwise, Koch provides more than enough fireworks via his fancy fretwork and diverse bag of tricks throughout the majority of this rather upbeat production.