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Review: Richie Kotzen – Salting Earth CD & Tour

The newest release from Kotzen is bound to be one of his best sellers. It literally has something for everyone. The opening track, “End Of Earth” has blistering vocals and guitar work yet is super radio friendly. “Thunder” is something that long time Kotzen fans will take to immediately…that riff! “Divine Power”, another very radio friendly ballad-ish track….I’d call it a ballad but Richie brings such an energy to the song that this is no sleepy track…so ballad-ish it is! “I’ve Got You” (ode to Julia?) has a Gary Clark Jr vibe to it. What a fantastic track. This could easily be a top 40 hit. You will find yourself singing along. “My Rock”, The piano ballad video single is another hit. I was amazed at the number of people singing along at the live show….it’s a catchy bugger! “This Is Life” has possibly Richie’s most outstanding vocal performance on this cd…considering the fact that Richie’s vocals are above & beyond on a bad day, that’s saying something. The conservative Tele work on this track is awesome as well! “Make It Easy”, Up tempo, killer riff, killer bass line and funky backing vocals will have you singing and playing air tambourine in no time…damn good! “Meds” could have been on the “Change” cd. It has that sound to it. “Cannonball”, electric piano and stellar Richie vocals lead the way on this track. So damn catchy. I guess you could say that Richie has released a ten track single. Every one of these tracks could be a big hit. There isn’t a weak track on the disc! “Grammy”, acoustic guitar and Richie’s vocals…This goes down a storm in concert! Three words: GO BUY IT!

I was fortunate to see Richie and his band, Dylan Wilson (bass) and Mike Bennett (drums) perform in Orange County, California on April 23, 2017. I want to say right up front that I have seen Richie and this band perform many times since their inception in 2011. Frankly, I have never seen a Richie Kotzen Band show like this one. YOU haven’t either. GO SEE THE SHOW! Yes, it has Richie’s searing guitar and spectacular vocals as you would expect. It also has an acoustic section. Mike Bennett has a spectacular solo section. Dylan has the spotlight on him throughout the night (what a funky mo-fo!) including playing his electric upright bass thingy with a bow…like a Cello! How about Piano only tracks…See, I told you this is a different must see show. Salting Earth is well represented in this show as about two-thirds of the cd is performed on stage. I will say that the new songs were well received which isn’t always the case but I think the sheer strength of the songs shown through and the crowd ate it up. “Socialite” was performed. My 11 year old, Ian happened to be with me at this show. Socialite is his favorite Kotzen track. Later, Ian remarked that,”Kotzen’s still got it”. There you go Richie…it’s official, YOU STILL GOT IT! “Your Entertainer also made the set list. I don’t recall ever hearing this live…good call! “Grammy” went down a storm during the acoustic section and “Help Me” from the 24 Hours disc was a highlight for me. It was to my eyes & ears a flawless performance. I’ve remarked before that these three guys are magic on stage. They go together like breathing and…air! It was a stellar performance that was met with multiple standing ovations.

I can, without reservation recommend the cd, “Salting Earth” and the current tour. To see my photo gallery from the show, go here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/haveigotapicture4u/albums/72157683077061696DSC06206

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