Shred guitar hero, Richie Kotzen basically gave up that label long ago. Probably unknown to most but, Kotzen has been concentrating on a Bluesy R&B type career for quite some time now. Does he still tear it up? Of course he does, but the focus now is on his singing! Yes, he sings…and he's PHENOMENAL. I first him sing a long time ago on a Shrapnel Records L.A. Blues Authority record and he stole the entire CD, with his voice & not one note on the guitar. If you like great musicianship with great songs and a voice that will give you Goosebumps...let me re-introduce you to one, Richie Kotzen.
Since that first listen, Kotzen has consistently put out great CD after great CD and his vocals have just killed. Oh yeah, he plays well, too! Haha.
Richie's latest CD is called Live In Sao Paulo (Headroom) and it has a great cross section of 12 tracks covering much of his singing career from his stint in Poison with the great song "Stand" to the cool era of Mother Head's Family Reunion. Kotzen throws in the old standards of "Shapes Of Things and "I'm Losing You" with unreal feeling and conviction. Kotzen classic's like "Socialite", "A Love Divine", "So Cold", "High" and "Doin' What The Devil Says To Do" all get super live renditions. Production on this live record is superb and is a really great listen. Kotzen's guitar playing is spot on and he has that Stevie Ray Vaughn type of touch. Eerie! He has a great tone and doesn't disappoint. But if you were expecting a shredfest like his early days, you won't find it. But you will find a ton of tasty riffing from that aged kid of the '80's! You won't be disappointed, I promise!
But as I said, the man has an AMAZING voice and for my money is in a very elite club with people like Paul Rodgers, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Doug Pinnick, Glenn Hughes, Rod Stewart, Janis Joplin and a touch of Michael Bolton (before he became a joke!) If Joplin and Stevie were to have had a child, Kotzen would possess that voice. High praise? Yes! But completely and utterly deserved. If you have never had the pleasure of listening to Richie Kotzen's voice, my god buy this CD.
Richie Kotzen has been following his R&B heart and this live CD is a great testament to his stellar work. Unfortunately the masses haven't really heard this amazingly talented vocalist/guitarist and that is a complete sin. In this cookie cutter, stale musical environment of 2008, it is always refreshing when someone takes a step backwards and embraces the sound of the amazing '70's. Richie Kotzen has released a killer live CD with Live In Sao Paulo I just hope people can find it, because once you hear it you won't be able to stop listening. Kotzen is easily in my top 5 singers of all time and that is NO easy feat, believe me. Thank god for there still being a few PURE vocalists out there and Richie Kotzen is surely towards the top of that list.
- Fooled Again
- So Cold
- A Love Divine
- Shapes Of Things
- Doin' What The Devil Says To Do
- I'm Losing You
- Mother Head's Family Reunion