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Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen
Houston, Texas singer-songwriter Libby Koch (pronounced like in the soft drink) earned her dues playing her hometown circuit before stretching her wings, quitting her 80-hour a week job practising law at a large Houston firm to go national in 2013. Her apprenticeship working the local scene, and having a weekend residency at the Stockman’s Club at the NRG Arena has served the young lady well.
Not least is Koch’s ability to project her voice, and write songs about your modern-day cowboy and life in general. With her inbuilt knowledge and honesty of where real people haunt for one reason or another Koch’s songs invariably make it the very heart and soul of her audience. Koch’s songs are good, and though she isn’t quite the finished article I believe if she continues to work and hang around with the likes of the players on the record and eight-time Grammy winner, Nashville producer Bil Vorndick she soon will be.
One of the highlights, and I mean just that is “Out Of My Misery”. This as she draws the listener in close to her story, one of how she is about to move on and once again be free (‘get rid of all your things, but what is she going to do about her broken heart), make new plans she speaks of how she is going to put her former love out of her misery. It's poignant stuff. A classic country sound, likewise could be said of “You Don’t Live Here Anymore” as she puts down her foot good and hard, so good is her work it brings back fond memories of Bobbie Cryner’s sensational self-titled debut album on Epic (1993).
Powered by a tight set of players in session leader Bruce Dees, Lynn Williams, Glenn Worf, Bobby Ogdin, Sonny Garrish, Bob Williams and Aubrey Haynie with harmony vocals from Michael Black, Vickie Carrico, Eric Brace and Andrea Zonn the album is solid, her songs not short of sympathetic instrumentation. Others of note include sensitive ballad “Tell No Lies”, and with some smart fine-picking at the onset “Bring Me Down” also enjoys an adventuress feel as the rhythm section has a heap of electric lead and pedal steel guitar decorate the lyrics. Better still you have reflective ode “Lady Luck” and a likewise look back at life “Back To Houston” as she sings about starting back anew as on taking the highway back to Texas she bids goodbye to her old love and Tennessee. Not to be overlooked is the tasty work on piano and organ from Ogdin on a couple of tracks.
Closing track “Wish You Were Here” though not her best it is a typical barroom tune as she speaks of how she wishes her love were sat there beside her, instead of a bottle although he took her for granted and pushed her around conflicting emotions remain.
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