Review Fix chats with singer/songwriter and guitar virtuoso Richie Kotzen, who discusses his new album, Salting Earth. Discussing the inspiration for the album, as well as managing his time between his solo work and his time with the Winery Dogs, Kotzen is always creating music. From his time in Mr. Big and Poison, Kotzen is like a bookmark on the rock scene for over 25 years.
About Richie Kotzen:
Kotzen’s “charge to recharge” was officially put into play following the mega-success of the 2015–16 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.”
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Photo by Julia Lage