Houston Pres--Chris Gray:
Libby Koch, Tennessee Colony
Libby Koch may have set this album in the tiny East Texas settlement near Palestine where her ancestors settled in the days of William B. Travis, but the lively arrangements -- a frisky blend of country, folk, bluegrass and gospel set to some mighty fine fiddle, banjo and mandolin -- not only make Tennessee Colony sound daisy-fresh, but the rare acoustic-based album that truly deserves to be called "Americana."
Houston Music Review--Eddie Ferranti:
Riding the wave of yet another killer year forwww.houstonmusicreview.com in 2014, Rose and I headed to Austin 1/1 thru 1/4 and soaked in 7 gigs in that music rich city. The likes of Patrice Pike, Omar and the Howlers and Seela Misra to name a few got us ready to go see more after only one day of "rest" back in H-Town. So we saddled up and headed on over to the always reliable McGonigel's Mucky Duck for a deja vu type show with Libby Koch. After all, it was in January of 2014 that we were at the same venue (http://www.houstonmusicreview.com/mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2341&Itemid=7) catching up with this talented woman.
This go around was a bit different band wise, but very good indeed. The wild thang threw a "Koch Kurveball" and said she was unveiling 9 new tunes from her soon to wrap up 13 song CD being done in Nashville. Quite impressive given the fact that her last one, 'Tennessee Colony', was released in April of 2014.
She had her killer drummer, Joe Devadanum, with whom she embarked on a successful 20 state tour in 2014, in tow. Dude is a polished peformer who can ratchet it up and mash or chill it down to back whatever mood the songs need. Plus add in the solid vet bass work of Kate McLellan Walker and the backing was complete.
She set the tone early for a good gig with a Texas style seranade complete with smooth as silk fiddle work called "Don't Know How". Amazing how well the fiddle works of talented Jonathon Lin mixes with her vocals to produce a top notch sound indeed. Other goodies were "Tell Me No Lies" from her side project of The Grievous Angels which she promised would have a more electric 'jolt' to it on the new disc, usual foot stomper she opens with "Burden" , pulling side kick Brian Kalinec up for "Out of My Misery" and sweet "All That Love". "Gospel Song" always is a bell ringer complete with LK's whistlin' pipes workin' overtime!
Koch has a way of engaging the audience like they are sitting on her couch in her living room. By that I mean she relates the nuiances of her songs into story telling that is not laborious in nature, but more informative and cool.
The new album promises to have a Fleetwood Macish tune which she did for her mama on it and what we saw on "I've Been Fine" (I think the title) where she resembles Chrissie Hynde! Nice versatility for a "country" singer. Libby ended the gig with top notch "You Don't Live Here Anymore".
Consistent, honest and authentic are adjectives that come to mind when documenting a Koch show. Never do you get a hint of a mail-in performance when she's on stage and it is no surprise to this reviewer that she's knockin' on doors in Nashville. Here's hoping they open wide for her.
8 shows in 6 days started our year folks. WHAT are you doing sittin' on your duff?!