RICHIE KOTZEN Joins Lineup For Rock Against MS Benefit Concert & Award Show
March 9, 2017, a year ago
Guitar genius Richie Kotzen joined the ever growing all-star line-up of the 5th Annual Rock Against MS Benefit Concert & Award Show, taking place at The Los Angeles Theare in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, March 25th. Kotzen will bring his signature style of guitar brilliance with his solo band to the stage. He will be covering his extensive, critically acclaimed catalogue tossing in some unexpected classic favorites.
Hosted by comedians Bill Burr (Breaking Bad,Date Night) and Craig Gass (Sex In The City, Howard Stern Show), this amazing evening is comprised of comedy, music, art and awards. This special night is to raise awareness and educate the public about multiple sclerosis, while raising money build the first of many MS resource centers across the Nation and outreach program services.
Nancy Wilson of Heart will debut the new band, Roadcase Royale, with Liv Warfield (formerly of Prince’s New Power Generation). Joining Wilson (guitar) and Warfield (vocals) are lead guitarist Ryan Waters (the musical director for Liv's solo work and Prince protégé) along with Heart members Chris Joyner (keys), Dan Rothchild (bass), and Ben Smith (drums).
Featured artists: Richie Kotzen (Winery Dogs), Steven Adler (Guns N’ Roses), Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains), Mike Inez (Alice In Chains), Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses), Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy/Whitesnake), Jeff Pilson (Foreigner), James Lomenzo (John Fogerty), Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake), Dug Pinnick (Kings X), Robert Sarzo (Hurricane), Scotti Hill (Skid Row), Phil Buckman (Fuel), Matt Starr (Ace Frehley), Rodger Carter (John 5), Bruce Watson (Foreigner), Joe Retta (Sweet), Anthony “Tiny” Biuso (Cadillac Tramps), Howie Simon (Nelson), Marty O’Brien (Lita Ford), Shawn Duncan (Odin), Michael Bluestein (Foreigner), John Allen (Bagpipe Badass).
This evening we are hosting an amazing art exhibition in the Ballroom, with a live art performance on stage during the music! Renowned artist Joey Feldman, rising-star Max Goldsmith and famed performance artist Norton Wisdom will be hosting an art exhibit of powerful paintings and Giclee prints up for sale, with proceeds going to the Rock Against MS Foundation. Norton Wisdom will be performing his art live on stage during the music, capturing the inspiration he gets from the notes.
More info at this location.
Richie Kotzen has never been an artist known for playing by the rules. And for this ever-adventurous triple-threat songwriter/guitarist/vocalist, that meant putting on the brakes after a nonstop flurry of band-related activity in order to refuel the creative process for the ten heartfelt and hard-hitting songs that comprise his new, vibrant 21st solo album, Salting Earth, out April 14th via his own custom label, Headroom-Inc.
Kotzen tossed convention on its ear by actually taking one step back in order to move two steps forward. “It’s something I really needed to do in order to reset myself,” he explains.
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.”
Kotzen’s previous solo release, 2015’s diverse, far-reaching Cannibals, was a well-received hit among his core fan base, and Salting Earth cuts like the aforementioned “End Of Earth”, “Thunder”, and “Divine Power” all showcase the scorching guitar solos and soaring vocals that one would expect from a Kotzen solo album. That said, there’s also quite a vulnerable side on display here that’s perhaps best demonstrated in the stripped-down approach to the album’s closing salvo, “Grammy”.
“That song came to me in the oddest way at the most inconvenient time,” he reveals of the track that can be filed in the “first thought, best thought” category. One night when he was home alone, “I basically woke myself up with the chorus melody in my head, and in my haze, I knew that if I didn’t at least record the idea, it would be forever lost. I ended up programming a simple drum beat, and then recorded the acoustic guitar. The lyrics pretty much wrote themselves. By 6 in the morning, the song was finished. I was going to do more overdubs, but I kept playing it over and over, and I just felt like there was something so personal coming out of the speakers. By messing with it, I’d likely destroy the magic - so I left it as it is.”
Bringing Salting Earth live to the people is Kotzen’s next holy mission. “My real outlet is touring - playing live as much as I can, wherever I can, whenever I can,” he says enthusiastically. “It’s one of the few things you can’t copy, steal, or download. It’s an engaging human experience that’s a give-and-take between both the performer and the audience, and there is nothing else like it on this earth.”
Kotzen will launch his Salting Earth Tour on April 21 at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA. He and his band are planning to tour extensively throughout the US and continue their journey into Mexico, South America, and Europe.
Salting Earth tracklisting:
“End of Earth”
“I’ve Got You”
“This Is Life”
“Make It Easy”
Richie Kotzen US dates:
21 - Agoura Hills, CA - Canyon Club
22 - Pasadena, CA - The Rose
23 - San Juan Capistrano, CA - Coach House
25 - San Diego, CA - Brick By Brick
28 - Las Vegas, NV - Vamp’d
29 - Scottsdale, AZ - BLK Live
1 - Denver, CO - Oriental Theatre
3 - Moline, IA - Rascal’s Live
4 - St. Charles, IL - Arcada Theatre
5 - Westland, MI - The Token Lounge
7 - Whitesburg, KY - Appalshop Theater
9 - Pittsburgh, PA - Altar Bar
11 - New York, NY - B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
13 - Annapolis, MD - Rams Head On Stage
14 - New Hope, PA - Havana New Hope
17 - Bethlehem, PA - Musikfest Café
(Photo - Julia Lage)