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Lee Koch - Whole Heart

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Lee Koch is a name you may recognize from his recent appearance on the NBC singing contest show, The Voice, for a version of "Like a Rolling Stone." Whole Heart is a full album of Koch's music, and it's one release impossible to describe with just one word.

For starters, Koch can sound like a folk-y blues artist, as he does during the acoustic "Being Broke." This one particularly showcases Koch's soulful voice. He's at his fun (and country) best during the barn burner "Celebrities." As a sort of sister song to Brad Paisley's "Celebrity," which makes fun of famous peoples' poor behavior, this fiddle and mandolin-spiked hoedown personalizes the topic. On it, Koch sings about how getting famous might change him. His belief is that he would use this fame for good, perhaps to become a modern day Robin Hood, instead of engaging in lot of bad behavior.

One titled "Sweet Release" is the odd man out track on this CD. Although it features some bluesy harmonica blowing, it also includes soulful organ and the sort of herky-jerky horns you might hear on a Tom Waits album. It's a little unusual, at least compared to the rest of this project, but nevertheless works. It's a fine example of Koch's carnival barker-like singing approach. Another nice surprise is "Gun & Blessing," which features Mexican harp (or what sounds like one), for a cool story song.

The sad thing about shows such as The Voice is that they only focus on one thing singing. They don't, however, evaluate the ability to create albums. So while Lee Koch didn't win that contest, he nevertheless is a winner, simply for the fact that he created Whole Heart, which fulfills the 'whole' package. And that's a much greater accomplishment.

Lee Koch - Whole Heart
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