Get this crazy baby off my head!


Richie Kotzen

Richie Kotzen - Peace Sign - 2009 - Headroom-inc

Guitar virtuoso Richie Kotzen burst onto the heavy metal scene as a teenager with a lightning-fast guitar technique. After recording three albums for the Shrapnel label -- including his 1989 self-titled debut, the following year's Fever Dream, and 1991's Electric Joy -- he was recruited into the party-metal group Poison to replace C.C. DeVille, who was forced out of the band due to his substance abuse problems. Kotzen recorded 1993's Native Tongue with the group, and the album showcased his shredding style as well as his blues-based influences. However, Kotzen left the band to return to his solo career, which included collaborations with fellow guitar hero Greg Howe. By the end of the '90s, Kotzen was also working with the latest lineup of Mr. Big, as well as the fusion group Vertú. In 1999 he released Bi-Polar Blues and the following year saw the domestic release of three albums -- Something to Say, Wave of Emotion, and What Is... -- which were previously available only in Japan. Slow and Change arrived in 2003, followed by Get Up in 2004 and Acoustic Cuts the following year. His first compilation, Instrumental Collection: The Shrapnel Years, was released in the summer of 2006, with the all-new Into the Black arriving later that fall. © Heather Phares © 2013 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/richie-kotzen-mn0000852081/biography

Touted as one of the best guitar players in the world, Richie Kotzen also possesses a voice on par with some of the greatest rock/soul singers and is highly regarded as a gifted songwriter. Richie has had an incredible journey into the world of music. With guitar styles ranging from rock, blues, jazz and fusion to pop and soul, Kotzen has built a remarkably diverse 20 year career as a guitarist, singer and songwriter. During that span, 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, ranging from Pop/Rock bands like Poison and Mr. Big to Jazz/Fusion groups like Vertu featuring Kotzen and Jazz legends Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. Working with these artists has provided Richie with a great deal of in-studio experience, as well as the opportunity to tour the world, introducing him to an international audience. In fact, his immense popularity overseas led Kotzen to one of his greatest honors - touring as the opening act on the Japanese leg of the Rolling Stones’ 2006 “A Bigger Bang Tour”. A prolific songwriter, Richie has written several songs that have gone on to become hit singles around the world. His song “Stand.” written while a member of Poison, reached the top 20 on the Billboard charts. As the lead single off of their album NATIVE TONGUE, “Stand” was the catalyst for the album reaching platinum status. While with Mr. Big, Richie also enjoyed another milestone, having his song “Shine” reach #1 in both Europe and Japan. Richie has just released his 20th solo album, entitled PEACE SIGN. He continues to make amazing records and to tour around the world, playing stadiums, festivals, and clubs. His current tours have spanned several continents, including North America, Europe, South America and Asia. He has played with many other well known musicians, has performed on television programs such as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Live with Regis and Kelly,” and continues to appear in countless books, magazines and websites, being acknowledged as one of the top guitarists in the world! Kotzen is one of the few artists to be honored by Fender Guitar with not one, but two signature model guitars. The Kotzen Telecaster guitar has repeatedly been the #1 selling signature model guitar for Fender Japan. Cornford Amplification also honored Kotzen with his own signature series guitar amp (the RK 100) which in 2005 was voted Amp of the Year in the UK. In 2009, Zoom released the Richie Kotzen Signature Edition effects pedal (the G2R), providing a diverse range of tonal solutions programmed by Kotzen himself. Kotzen has amassed a catalogue of more than 25 albums and has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. “Touring and making music is my life. It is all I have ever done. I am very grateful to all the people around the world who have made that possible,” Richie humbly states. © 2013 • All Rights Reserved • Richie Kotzen http://richiekotzen.com/about/bio/

Man, I hate Richie Kotzen. Oh don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan. His guitar playing is awesome. His vocals are amazing (like, seriously, it’s utterly unfair for a guitar virtuoso to have such a big-league voice). I have most of his albums and I often daydream about owning one of his Fender signature Strats or Telecasters. I hear he’s a really nice guy, and he continues to release album after album of A-Grade material, all while lookin’ impossibly cool whether he tries to or not. And that’s just the problem. Dude can’t seem to put a foot wrong – don’t ya hate people like that! Kotzeeeeeen! Kotzen’s latest cruel attempt to make me feel friggin’ miserable about myself is Peace Sign. One of the reasons I envy him so much for this record is because he played all of the instruments himself on most of the songs, yet somehow managed to capture a live band feel. I guess the secret is that the performances aren’t all tweezed and quantized – you can still hear the character behind every note. Another important key to this live feel is the orchestration: rarely do you hear multiple tracks of the same guitar part. Instead, the sonic landscape is quite bare, which of course means you can hear more of what’s going on because the nuance isn’t being smashed to smithereens. One thing that really grabs me about this CD is the way it moves in cycles. The first five tracks have a bluesy rock edge reminiscent of Kotzen’s previous album, terrifyingly awesome Return of Mother Head’s Family Reunion. The next four are funky and groovy, largely characterised by cleaner guitar tones and more fusiony guitar solos. The final three are more laid back, probably more reminiscent of something like ‘Give It Up’ from Return of Mother Head’s Family Reunion. My standout tracks are opener ‘My Messiah’ (a big, loud rocker with killer verse/chorus dynamics); ‘Paying Dues’ (check out that killer guitar solo – video below); the very LA-feeling ‘We’re All Famous,’ the celebratory ‘Your Entertainer’ and the groovy ‘You Got Me.’ But every song has a little highlight or gem somewhere, whether it’s a vocal hook, a guitar line, some cool interplay between instruments, or a lyric. While I can’t wait to hear what Kotzen does next (after all, this CD follows the awesome ‘Return of the Mother Head’s Family Reunion,’ I hope he keeps promoting this album for quite a while yet so it gets the sustained attention it deserves. Listen to tracks from Peace Sign for free on Richie’s site here (http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/112262/20110201-0039/external.html?link=http://richiekotzen.com/) By & © Peter Hodgson Published May 6, 2010 © 2008-13, Peter Hodgson. All Rights Reserved. http://iheartguitarblog.com/2010/05/cd-review-richie-kotzen-peace-sign.html

The brilliant, virtuoso guitarist Richie Kotzen has described his own music as a mix of rock, blues, jazz, fusion, and soul music. “Peace Sign” bounces between all these genres, and throughout, his guitar work is stunning. Richie provided all the instrumentation and sounds on the album with the exception of Dan Potruch’s drumming on four tracks. RK has talent to burn! Listen to his “Fever Dream” and “Live In São Paulo/Bootlegged In Brazil” albums [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 136 Mb]


1 My Messiah 3:04
2 Long Way From Home 4:00
3 Paying Dues 4:53
4 Peace Sign 5:28
5 Best Of Times 4:51
6 We're All Famous 4:00
7 You Got Me 3:18
8 Your Entertainer 3:52
9 Catch Up To Me 3:44
10 Lie To Me 4:09
11 Larger Than Life 4:38
12 Holding On 4:11

All tracks composed by Richie Kotzen


Richie Kotzen - All Instruments & Sounds except Dan Potruch - Drums on Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5


Richard Dale "Richie" Kotzen, Jr. (born February 3, 1970 in Reading, Pennsylvania) is a guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer. Currently he is touring with The Winery Dogs with Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan, supporting an album they recorded in Los Angeles in August 2012. Richie Kotzen began playing piano at the age of five. At the age of seven he was inspired by the band KISS to learn the electric guitar. He started his career in a band named Arthurs Museum. Kotzen was eventually discovered by Shrapnel Records' Mike Varney, and he recorded his first solo album by the age of 19. He created the video Rock Chops for REH video in 1989, highlighting many of his formative techniques, including using wide-intervals and fluid sweeping. In 1991, at age 21, Kotzen joined glam-metal band Poison, co-writing and performing on the album Native Tongue. This album produced two top twenty singles which Kotzen co-wrote, "Stand" and "Until You Suffer Some (Fire & Ice)". In late 1993, he was dismissed from the band for having an affair with drummer Rikki Rockett's fiancee, Deanna Eve. In 1999 Kotzen replaced Paul Gilbert as guitarist in the mainstream rock band Mr. Big, performing on their album Get Over It. He also contributed guitars to their subsequent release Actual Size. The record included the Kotzen song Shine, which debuted at number one on Japanese radio charts. After Mr. Big disbanded, Kotzen released the solo album Change, in 2003. The title track and the song Get A Life were featured in TV commercials throughout Japan. In 2002 Kotzen bought a commercial building in Los Angeles and established a recording studio and production company. He has since produced acclaimed solo albums and collaborated with various figures in rock (Gene Simmons), jazz and fusion, including jazz legend Stanley Clarke. In 2006 Kotzen was the opening act in Japan for The Rolling Stones on their Bigger Bang tour. In 2013 the super rock band, The Winery Dogs released their debut album on May 15, 2013 in Japan. Kotzen has described his style as a mix of rock, blues, jazz, fusion, and soul music. Of his albums, he claims he is most proud of Vertú. Kotzen utilizes a heavy amount of legato and sweeping in his playing. As his main influence he lists Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eddie Van Halen, Jason Becker, who produced his first album, Allan Holdsworth and many other jazz and fusion players.

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