(8/10) Richie Kotzen, guitarist from Reading, Pennsylvania, which I guess doesn't need to be introduced to most of you. The 44 years old gitar player has a long history in rock and metal and can look back already on a long history. But he also was looking beyond his own backyard while having blues-, fusion- and jazz projects going on. And last but not least Kotzen founded together with Mike Protnoy and the bass legend Billy Sheehan the Winery Dogs.
After all these years of music and songs, he released his debut in 1989, it was time to have an look back on all these creative achievements. The result is his new album "The essential Richie Kotzen". The album gives a great overview about the 18 solo albums of Kotzen. What I miss is the one or the other track from his early days. There are e.g. now songs from the first two Kotzen records on this collection.
But there are two new tracks on the album. This is really exciting stuff. "War paint" and "Walk with me" are the names of those tracks and they git the role of the openers. A strong package to start the album with. "War paint" is a bluesy song and is a well chosen tune to start the album with. The song grooves like hell the the mix between the brilliant guitar sound and Kotzen well done vocals is amazing.
"Walk with me" is a laid-back rock song with a special component. Kotzen used a Theremin during this song. A Theremin is an instrument which was developed in the beginning of the 20st century. It's the only instrument you can play without touching it. The sound is very special and was often used in soundtracks for science-fiction movies. Kotzen learnt to play this special instrument and used for "Walk with me" as a replacer for the lead huitar parts. This makes the track really special and intersting. It also shows Kotzen's passion for music and the willingness to constant develop himself. He never stood still in all these years and was open-minded enough to try new things.
"The essential Richie Kotzen" is an great summery of the extensive body of Kotzen's work. Each fan of good and well done guitar music should call this record his/her own.
- War paint
- Walk with me
- Love is blind
- Go faster
- Fooled again
- OMG (What's your name?)
- Help me
- Bad situation
- You can't save me
- Doing what the devil says to do
- Remember (Reprise)
- What is (2014)
- High (2014)
- Change (2014)
- Special (2014)
- Paint it on (Acoustic version)
- Holding on (Acoustic version)
- Until you suffer some (Fire & ice) (Acoustic version)
- The road (Acoustic version)
- Regret (Original demo version)
- Damaged (Original demo version)