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RICHIE KOTZEN performing in Nashville, TN on Monday, May 22 at the City Winery.

By • May 16th, 2017 • Category: StageShottz News

KOTZEN tossed convention on its ear by actually taking one step back after a non-stop flurry of band-related activity in order to refuel the creative process for the album’s ten heartfelt and hard-hitting songs. “It’s something I really needed to do in order to reset myself,” he explains.

His “charge to recharge” was officially put into play following the mega-success of the 2015–2016 tour behind his band The Winery Dogs’ sophomore effort, the oh-so-appropriately named HOT STREAK. And the man’s reset manifesto wound up hitting all the right buttons too. The proof is on display deep within the grooves of SALTING EARTH, which veers from the balls-out, heads-up declaration of the opening track and first single, “End of Earth,” to the burning-sky harmonic thrust of “Thunder” to the Prince-like funk-jazz swing of “This Is Life” to the acoustified take-me-as-I-am self-reflection of the album’s final song, “Grammy.”

The majority of SALTING EARTH is the result of KOTZEN’s one-man production machine, with the exception of Julia Lage adding background vocals to “Make It Easy,” a tasty, sing-along groove stew. “It’s really not deliberate when the record is finished and suddenly I’m the only performer on it,” Kotzen admits. “It actually comes out of my process of writing and documenting my ideas. It started back in the late-’80s when I had a makeshift studio in my parents’ barn. I grew up fairly isolated, and I soon realized in order to get this music out of my head and onto a format where I could listen to it, I’d have to figure out how to do it alone.”

KOTZEN’s previous solo release, 2015’s diverse, far-reaching CANNIBALS, was a well-received hit among his core fan base, and SALTING EARTH cuts like the aforementioned “End of Earth,” “Thunder,” and “Divine Power” all showcase the scorching guitar solos and soaring vocals that one would expect from a KOTZEN solo album. That said, there’s also quite a vulnerable side on display here that’s perhaps best demonstrated in the stripped-down approach to the album’s closing salvo, “Grammy.”

With his guitar styles ranging from rock, blues, jazz and fusion to pop and soul, RICHIE KOTZEN has built a remarkably diverse 20 year career as a guitarist, singer and songwriter.  During that span, KOTZEN toured with his trio extensively outside the United States, building a loyal fan base and selling out shows throughout Europe, Latin America, and Japan.  In 1996, Fender guitars honored him with not one, but two signature model guitars.  His signature model Telecaster is available worldwide and continues to be a top seller for the brand.  In 2006, KOTZEN received one of his biggest personal honors when The Rolling Stones chose him to open up a string of Japanese shows placing him in front of some of his biggest crowds to date.  He has not only built an incredibly successful solo career, but has also found himself writing, recording and playing live with a variety of different artists, including Jazz legends Stanley Clarke and Lenny White.

As Musiclifemagazine.net recently described SALTING EARTH, “It features Kotzen at his musical best, crafting 10 songs that are drawn from his multiple influences, including 1970s rock, blues to soul, yet it’s all wrapped up into a cohesive whole thanks to his superior production, mixing and arranging skills, as well as his soul-filled, powerfully emotive and evocative voice.”

“End Of Earth” video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hGxS63e3T8

www.richiekotzen.com

www.facebook.com/richiekotzenmusic

 

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