Sunday, January 27, 2019

SKOOK MUSIC: Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam


Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam

By Megan A. Hepler

Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam is a jam band based out of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The band formed by Sterling Koch works to promote Koch’s original music and entertain with a variety of blues and jazz related genres. The band members have a long history of performing in the area and continue to bring entertainment to the county and surrounding areas. Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam will be playing at a variety of festivals and wineries in 2019.

Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam was brought together by Sterling Koch in January 2018. He and the other two members, Kate Koch and John Goba, had played together on various projects since approximately 2007. He developed the name Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam by combining his name with the name of one of the songs that they perform by Jeff Beck titled “Freeway Jam.” Koch formed the band in order to promote his most recent album titled “GuitaR & B,” which was released in 2018. Koch explained that “GuitaR & B”, “is a mix of jazz, blues, and funk with me playing all instruments and working with several different producers.” The album is available for sale on various online stores such as: Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify.

Sterling Koch is a Schuylkill County native with over fifty years of musical experience on guitar and thirty years as a guitar instructor. He has been a member of a number of bands around the United States since the late 1970s: Bigg Shott, Peach, Teaser, John Bailey Group, and many others. In addition, Koch said he has, “released twenty different recorded pieces of music since 1982 on vinyl, cassette, CD and now mp3.” Sterling Koch is the lead guitarist for Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam.

Kate Koch is Sterling Koch’s daughter. She was inspired to learn a musical instrument by watching her father, but found that the bass guitar was the best fit for her as an early teen. She has been playing bass for over fifteen years now. Kate has been a member of the bands Victory in Heaven, 61 South, 3:16, and Extranean. Kate is currently the bassist for Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam. Kate said, “Nothing beats the connection of being in a band with my dad.”

John Goba began playing drums at thirteen years old. Over the years he has been performing in the bands 3:16, The Soul Tones, Marshal Law, The Mutt & Jeff Band, 61 South, The Sterling Koch Band, and The Legends. Goba indicated that, "I've also played with numerous other groups over the years covering a wide variety of musical genres, such as Blues, Contemporary Christian, Country, Funk, Polka, Pop/Rock, R&B, and Southern Rock.” He also gives drum lessons out of his Cressona home. Goba is Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam’s drummer.

The band has faced some challenges since it first formed by reducing its number from five members to three. The transition removed a keyboardist and percussionist. The changes, however, have allowed the band to grow from a strictly blues band to add more variety to their style. Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam consider themselves a jam band. They perform a assortment of instrumental music including jazz, blues, funk, and rock. The band covers a variety of music by artists like Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani, and others. Their primary focus is performing the music created by Sterling Koch for his album “GuitaR & B.”

Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam will be performing in a variety of locations over the next year:

February 22nd: Cliff’s Tavern, Camp Hill
March 30th: Jamageddon Fest at the American Spirits Roadhouse, Asbury, NJ
July 13th: Calvaresi Winery Festival, Bernville
August 31st: Taste of Hamburger Festival, Hamburg

Performance dates to be determined in summer through fall:

PA BBQ Fest, Leesport
Pinnacle Ridge Winery, Kutztown
Stone Mountain Winery, Pine Grove

To find more information on Sterling Koch and Freeway Jam visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/freewayjam01

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