From the Attic (Pepper Cake/ZYX Germany)
His engagingly plain-spoken voice—singing about common sense, reconciliation and forcing his listeners to rock sounds—is like a pal with enough chutzpah and brains to steer you on a reasonable course of action without being a jerk. And he works his ax in ways representing primary influences such as Freddie King and Albert King while showing appreciation for later crowd-pleasers such as Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Both vocal and instrumental pieces vary the pace between meditative mellowness and rollicking rowdiness. The bare-bones setup of Koch with his drummer and bassist allows all parties to shine on numbers that walk the fine line separating the raw and the slick. Maybe nothing’s new here, but nothing’s stale, either.