Greg Koch & The Koch-Marshall Trio
Greg Koch and the Koch-Marshall Trio consist of American guitarist Greg Koch, his son Dylan Koch on drums and Hammond B3 specialist Toby Lee Marshall. At the heart of this organ trio is a blues sensibility — but Koch’s compositions are an amalgam of rock, funk, jazz and country served up with heavy grooves and dynamic improvisations delivered with no small dose of humor and occasional wild abandon.
Milwaukee native Greg Koch has forged a successful career as a guitar player’s guitarist. He has been called “fiendishly talented” by author and former editor- in-chief of Guitar Player Magazine Tom Wheeler and “scary good” by guitar phenom Joe Bonamassa. In addition to his 15 releases on multiple record labels which feature his unique take on a variety of American guitar styles and his versatile compositions, Koch is widely known for his lengthy tenure as an international ambassador for Fender Guitars which listed him in their “Top Ten Unsung Guitarists” on Fender.com. He is also a best-selling author and video instructor for music publisher Hal Leonard.
Koch is a contributing columnist for a variety of guitar magazines including Guitar Player Magazine which listed Greg’s “Chief’s Blues” in their “40 Badass Blues Solos You Must Hear” and Premier Guitar. For the last few years Greg is renowned for his wildly popular internet videos (which number in the thousands with tens of millions of views) originating from the legendary Colorado guitar shop Wildwood Guitars. Furthermore, Koch is internationally known for his work with Fishman Transducers as a clinician and for his contributions to the development of the highly acclaimed Greg Koch Signature Gristletone Pickups for Telecaster guitar.
Although influenced by a wide variety of musical styles and musicians from the country of Chet Atkins to the rock and roll of Duane Eddy and the Beatles, Doyle Dykes has developed a distinct, recognizable sound that amazes audiences with skill while capturing hearts with sincerity and soul.
Doyle’s appreciation for various styles of music is reflected in his albums as they include signature compositions like “Jazz in the Box” and “Martha’s Kitchen” and hymns like the powerful “How Great Thou Art.” “Gitarre 2000″ was released by Windham Hill Records, and Doyle’s music has appeared on several of the label’s compilation albums like “Here, There, and Everywhere” (a tribute to the Beatles). In addition, Doyle’s music has been heard on United Airlines, Air Canada, NPR’s Morning News and All Things Considered, Disney’s California Adventure, and even the Space Shuttle Atlantis in September, 2000.
Doyle’s early years as a guitarist took him around the world as he toured with The Stamps Quartet and later with Grand Ole Opry Star, Grandpa Jones. Doyle has since returned to the Grand Ole Opry for numerous performances, many appearing live on national television.
Doyle performs in venues ranging from Theatres, Bluegrass festivals, and churches, to major Conventions, such as the NAMM Show (Anaheim, CA and Nashville, TN), the Musikmesse (largest music trade show in the world; Frankfurt, Germany), Music Live (UK), and the National Executive Institute, which is made up of honored FBI Agents, major city Police Chiefs, and Law Enforcement Officers from around the world. Internationally, Doyle attracts record audiences in many Continents around the world. Whether to a guitar player or music enthusiast, Doyle’s music will make a lasting impression on anyone given the opportunity to listen.
“Todd Clouser doesn’t fit into any scene, and doesn’t want to” says NPR in describing the aesthetic of the young guitarist, vocalist and writer. A native of Minneapolis, Clouser currently resides in Mexico City, writing and performing in a prolific manner uncommon to, and often at odds with, today’s market sensibilities. Clouser comes with the tomorrow of creative music, descending from the lineage of 70’s rock heroics, song craft, and improvised musics. Todd Clouser released a trilogy of records with his group A Love Electric on Brooklyn label Royal Potato Family between February 2012 and 2013, earning praise from critics of jazz and rock alike, while working tirelessly as a published poet, writer of short fiction and community philanthropist in Mexico. “Blistering” says the Prague Post on Clouser, while NPR goes on to call him “fascinating …. ultimately illuminating”, with the Phildaelphia Inquirer pointing to Todd as “A Gem, Clouser spices the All American vibe of Bill Frisell with some Jimi Hendrix fire.”
Clouser’s 2013 solo offering Man With No Country (Sept 2013) comes on Amulet Records, the label of legendary drummer Billy Martin, who performs on a number of the albums tracks. A record of 11 proper songs, biting lyricism, and blood churning sonic landscapes produced by another legend of New York City’s downtown scene, Golden Palominos founder Anton Fier. Man With No Country, a more vulnerable offering that anything we have seen from Todd stands to further propel Clouser into creative music conscience.
Clouser has toured extensively through the Unites States, Central America, western Europe, Argentina, Peru, and throughout his adopted home of Mexico. Whether with A Love Electric, solo, or next to heroes from Keb Mo to John Medeski, there is the sense when hearing Clouser that a new generation of ideas is arriving.
Angie Swan Trio
A Milwaukee native, Angie Swan grew up in a household filled with music. At the age of 10, she received her first guitar for Christmas, and a year later she took her first structured guitar lesson. Swan took to the guitar like a duck to water.
In 2001, the burgeoning guitarist headed to Berklee College of Music to follow her passion. After graduating in 2005, she headed to Los Angeles and found work performing on the FOX TV show Glee along with performing in-studio on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. She also performed with such well-known singers and musicians as Courtney Love, Lauryn Hill, Macy Gray and Will.I.Am. Swan even performed with fellow Berklee alumni Esperanza Spalding in Europe — “before she was Esperanza Spalding.”
In 2012, a new opportunity presented itself. Cirque du Soleil was in the process of forming its first ever all-female band for Amaluna. Word got back to them on several fronts that they should call Swan in for an audition, and after sending in videos of herself playing various styles, she was flown to Montreal to join the creation process of Amaluna, and became part of “The Goddesses of Sound.”
Swan with various artists and on a variety of shows. She is also working on solo album. Her original music has been described as “David Bowie meets the Beatles — covered in chocolate.”
John Paul Keith
A rootsy and clever singer/songwriter, John Paul Keith is a journeyman artist with a bent toward vintage Fender Telecaster-driven pop/rock twang. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Keith grew up singing in church, learned to play guitar around age ten, and inherited a love of classic rock and blues artists like Chuck Berry and B.B. King from his truck-driving father.
By his teens, Keith was a member of the alt-country ensemble the Viceroys, but left the band to pursue a solo career in Nashville. In 2009 he released his debut album, Spills and Thrills, which garnered significant critical praise — if not commercial success — for its mix of driving pop, country, and blues that drew comparisons ranging from Buddy Holly to Creedence Clearwater Revival to Booker T. & the MG’s.
A move to Memphis in his late twenties brought a renewed creative energy to Keith, who soon formed the expert bar band the One Four Fives with drummer John Argroves and bassist Mark E. Stuart. The group developed a loyal following in Memphis, and tours opening for acts like Lucero and Jack Oblivian drew yet more attention to Keith’s vintage rock sound. In 2011, John Paul Keith & the One Four Fives released the Bruce Watson-produced The Man That Time Forgot on Fat Possum. Memphis Circa 3AM, produced by Roland Janes, arrived from Fat Possum in the fall of 2013.
Since moving to Minneapolis in 2005, Zacc Harris has gained a reputation as one of the area’s top guitarists, leading a host of creative projects including Atlantis Quartet, winner of the 2015 McKnight Fellowship and named 2011 Best Jazz Artist by the City Pages, as well as the Zacc Harris Group, American Reverie, and Zacc Harris Trio.
Harris has toured as leader and sideman throughout the US and UK, including a recent run with Zacc Harris Group at London’s famed Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. Jazz Improv Magazine says, “Harris delivers a sound that is lucid, clear…providing rich-sounding accompaniment, and well-crafted solos” while Cadence Magazine calls some of Harris’ work on Atlantis Quartet’s most recent album “worthy of John McLaughlin.” MPR News states, “Harris makes his own mark on standards with enough new hooks to keep jazz alive.”
In 2012, Harris released his first album as leader, THE GARDEN, on Shifting Paradigm Records. City Pages writer Rick Mason says, “The Garden showcases Harris’s compositions, which adeptly and compellingly link the past and future of jazz, and guitar work, which is consistently articulate with an enticing fluidity seemingly influenced by the likes of Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny.”
Zacc is also a busy sideman, having performed and recorded with countless artists, including Debbie Duncan, Bruce Henry, Babatunde Lea, Eric Gravatt, Ben Wendel, Michael Janisch, and Nancy Harms. Currently, he plays with Jt Bates’ Grain Trio, Lars Larson’s Mancrush, Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band, and Adam Meckler Quintet. A graduate of Southern Illinois University, Zacc has studied privately with Adam Rogers, Jonathan Kreisberg, Gilad Hekselman, Nir Felder, Miles Okazaki, and Fareed Haque. Zacc has taught privately for the past 18 years and is currently adjunct faculty in the music department at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN and Carleton College in Northfield, MN.
Hannah Van Der Hoff
Minneapolis Native Hannah von der Hoff writes soulful music that is emotive, dynamic and takes a nod from the classics. Her work is a visceral amalgam of jazz, blues, soul, roots and rock. Her live show’s dynamics range from pin-drop vulnerability to aggressive belly moans. Think Jeff Buckley meets Fiona Apple and Cat Power. Then think Alabama Shakes meets Bonnie Raitt and rocks out with Jeff Buckley & Sade in a smoky speak easy at the end of a dirt road.
Dakota Dave Hull
Hailed by everyone from Dave Van Ronk to Doc Watson, from the Washington Post to Downbeat, Dakota Dave Hull’s guitar style spans a wide musical geography to create an infectious, uniquely personal blend of jazz, ragtime, folk, blues, Western swing, and vintage pop. Dakota Dave is a restlessly curious, adventurous traveler along the broad highway of America’s music. In his playing the masters speak, but in a vocabulary that is Dave’s alone: alternatively mirthful and moving, always melodic.
A gifted composer as well as a strikingly original interpreter of older tunes, Dave calls what he does “classic American guitar.” Folk legend Van Ronk called Dave “one of the best guitarists in the world.”
Most of all, Dakota Dave’s music is great fun. As Douglas Green (Ranger Doug of Riders in the Sky) puts it, “There is an imp within Dave Hull that always expresses itself on the fretboard; a witty, intelligent yet respectful imp who frolics in his music, an imp Dakota Dave neither fights nor lets take control, but simply absorbs into the heart of his style.”
On stage or in the recording studio Dave has performed with Utah Phillips, Doc Watson, Robin and Linda Williams, Dave Van Ronk, John Renbourn, Paul Geremia, Spider John Koerner, Cam Waters, Sally Rogers, Butch Thompson, Peter Ostroushko, Garrison Keillor, and Norman Blake, and many others. His albums include three with early performing partner Sean Blackburn and six solo efforts (the acclaimed Hull’s Victory and Reunion Rag, both on Flying Fish) with four more, New Shirt, Sheridan Square Rag, The Loyalty Waltz and Time Machine on Arabica Records. Airship, a duo album with singer/guitarist/fiddler Pop Wagner was widely praised. His three albums with guitar and mandolin ace Kari Larson (Double Cappuccino, Moonbeams and The Goose is Getting Fat, also on Arabica) have become legendary. More recently, Dave recorded an album of mostly traditional music duets with the noted guitarist Duck Baker, When You Ask a Girl to Leave Her Happy Home. A book of original compositions, Ragtime Guitar in the Classic American Style came out in 2012 and a double CD, Under the North Star was released in 2013.
Dave is a recipient of a 2013 Traditional Arts grant from the Minnesota State Arts board.
2017 LOWERTOWN GUITAR FESTIVAL© • SATURDAY, AUGUST 5 • MEARS PARK • SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA