Check out the video below for Elevate, the first single by The Winery Dogs. That’s the new band featuring Richie Kotzen, Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan. The lads are planning a few shows in Japan in July, with more dates to be announced shortly. Here’s hoping they make it down here to Australia to make up for the cancelled Extreme/Richie Kotzen tour which was to have taken place right now.
Their self-titled debut album is out on May 15 in Japan via Victor Entertainment, which means an international release can’t be far off. Continue reading
Wow! Two of my favourite guitarists are touring Australia together in April 2013: Extreme and Richie Kotzen. This is going to be the Aussie guitar event of the year (well, on equal footing with Joe Satriani’s Australian clinic tour). They’ll be playing Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.
Here’s the press release:
Lennard Promotions are thrilled to present 90′s rock giants Extreme along with very special guest guitar virtuoso Richie Kotzen live in Australia in 2013.
Extreme won a legion of fans during the 80′s and 90′s selling over 10 million records including their global smash hit More Than Words. Known for their heavy hitting musical ability and featuring the blazing guitar work of Nuno Bettencourt, Extreme exercised restraint rather than indulgence producing amazing music that not only showcased the band’s proficiency but also their collective mastery of hook laden rock. Richie Kotzen is a renowned guitar prodigy in his own right texturing both his own acclaimed releases and those from a string of notable acts including Poison and Mr Big with stunning guitar lines and breathtaking musical dexterity. Teaming up for what is sure to be a highlight on the 2013 touring calendar Extreme and very special guest Richie Kotzen will thrill Australian music lovers and galvanise guitar tragics alike.
It all started when four Boston-bred kids joined forces in the late 80s to form Extreme. With an original new sound and ground-breaking records, the foursome was immediately recognised as innovators in the world of rock & roll. The band has described their music as “Funky Metal” in the early days, but it would evolve much more in the mid-90s by blending classic rock influences with post-grunge and alternative rock. The band’s popularity was fuelled by guitar virtuoso Nuno Bettencourt’s signature style, Gary Cherone’s resonant vocals and socially conscious lyrics, Pat Badger’s rock solid bass, and the hard hitting Kevin Figueiredo on drums.
The band’s self-titled debut was released in 1989 to some acclaim, thought it was their 1990 album Pornograffitti that captured worldwide attention. Peaking at number 10 on the Billboard 200, Pornograffitti was certified multi-platinum and featured Bettencourt’s blistering guitar work which brought widespread admiration from rock guitar enthusiasts and continual exposure in leading guitar playing publications. It was however the acoustic ballad More Than Words, that captured imaginations and reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the United States landing Extreme their first #1 hit song.
Since the worldwide smash that was Pornograffitti Extreme have released three further albums including Saudades de Rock in 2008 and endured various periods of hiatus with members exploring side projects including Gary Cherone’s stint as vocalist in Van Halen before reforming permanently in 2007. Showcasing material from their most recent album and classics from all their previous discs, the members of Extreme are always thrilled to be heading out on the road. “As much as we enjoy recording, for me, I’ve always loved playing live for the fans,” Cherone says. “We can’t wait to get out there and play this music live.”
Fender-wielding Los Angeles-based guitar hero Richie Kotzen is frequently touted in the international guitar press as one of the world’s best guitarists, with a 50-album discography to back it up. Born in 1970 in Reading. Pa., Kotzen Kotzen moved to San Francisco at age 18, recording his first album at age 19 for metal mainstay label Shrapnel Records. Guitar World magazine readers proclaimed him one of the top three best new guitarists of 1989.
Kotzen’s big break came in 1991 when, at age 21, he joined multi-platinum glam rockers Poison, with whom he recorded 1993’s Native Tongue. The platinum album spawned two top-twenty singles written by Kotzen, “Stand” and “Until You Suffer Some (Fire & Ice).” Post-Poison, Kotzen recorded albums on Geffen, Shrapnel and JVC until 1999, when legendary jazz bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White invited him to form Vertu, which recorded an eponymous album that year and toured Europe extensively. Later in 1999, Kotzen joined hugely popular rock band Mr Big, recording Get Over It (1999) and Actual Size (2001) and penning his first number-one single in Japan, “Shine.”
Kotzen is one of the few artists to have two signature model Fender guitars in Japan; a Telecaster and a Stratocaster bearing his name have each been top sellers in Japan since they were introduced in 1995. Richie Kotzen’s latest release is titled ’24 Hours’
Lennard Promotions Proudly Present:
With Special Guest Richie Kotzen
Australian Tour 2013
11TH APRIL EATON HILLS HOTEL, BRISBANE
www.eatonshillhotel.oztix.com.au /Phone 07 3325 6777
www.oztix.com.au / Phone 1300 762 545
12TH APRIL PANTHERS, NEWCASTLE
www.moshtix.com.au / Phone 1300 438 849
13TH APRIL ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY
www.ticketek.com.au / Phone 132849
16TH APRIL METRO CITY, PERTH
www.oztix.com.au / Phone 1300 762 545
19TH APRIL PALACE THEATRE, MELBOURNE
www.ticketmaster.com.au / Phone 136 100
20TH APRIL THEBARTON THEATRE,. ADELAIDE
www.venuetix.com.au / Phone 08 8225 8888
Woo! One of my dream guitars is now going to be made available to the whole world (it’s currently only offered in certain markets, y’see). As just posted on Richie Kotzen’s Facebook:
“Fender Guitars will be selling Richie Kotzen’s signature model telecaster GLOBALLY starting this January… The guitar was previously only available in Japan and Europe… Good news for those interested parties in North and South America!”
Wow. Some shred guitar history is up on the auction block: two of Richie Kotzen’s original Ibanez guitars. They’re being sold on Richie’s website – below is some info from the listings. Hit Richie’s site for more info and to bid.
“This is the Ibanez guitar Richie played on his first cd. 90% of the solos were played on this guitar. Comes with Hard Case. Back neck plate is missing as you can see in the photograph.”
Can’t wait for this! First up, here’s a message from Richie on his official website:
“Quick Update… New single ’24 Hours’ will be available for download in just a few days (Sept 1st). The music video for the song will be posted at AOL online as well as my official youtube channel (links will be posted here). … AND… we are planning an official cd release party in Los Angeles late October (prior to the official cd release date). The full cd will be available for sale at the cd release party. Show date will be announced very soon.”
And here’s the press release:
After two years of extensive international touring, guitar virtuoso, singer/songwriter Richie Kotzen is back to unleash his new album, “24 Hours”, due on November 11 via Headroom-Inc.
“24 Hours” reflects the guitar style that has defined Kotzen’s career as a virtuoso, while taking it to another level.
“I feel like I have reached a new level of soloing on the opening track ’24 Hours’,” explains Kotzen. “I stopped using a guitar pick on electric a few years ago and my playing has evolved in a different way. Some of the solo lines I play on the song ’24 Hours’, and others as well, are lines I would have never been able to play with a guitar pick. So I would say the solos on this CD are at a different level than previous recordings.”
“24 Hours” is an absorbing collective blend of Kotzen’s musical influences and diversity. It takes you on an inspired, musical journey as the opening track sets the tone that falls stylistically somewhere between early Van Halen and Sly And The Family Stone. Kotzen also brought in his talented daughter, August Kotzen, and friend Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains, to complete the album.
“My daughter August is singing with me on a few songs and is playing electric piano on the song ‘Stop Me’,” states Kotzen. “My friend Jerry Cantrell is singing backgrounds on ‘Love Is Blind’ and does a very cool lead vocal ad-lib in the final chorus of the tune.”
Kotzen burst onto the heavy metal scene as a teenager with a lightning-fast guitar techniques. With his talents, Kotzen has played with some of the best musicians; including renowned jazz great Stanley Clarke and a three-year stint in the band Mr. Big.
“I have been lucky in the sense that I have been able to play with guys who I could learn from,” explains Kotzen. “The biggest musical lesson for me was playing in a band with Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. Obviously, these guys are jazz musicians and I am not, but I learned so much from the time we recorded and toured together. My favorite rock bassist is Billy Sheehan, and we were in MR. BIG together for three years, which was awesome.”
Meanwhile, check out Truth In Shredding for info about Richie’s new black Fender Telecaster signature model.
Here’s a very neat video from 2003 in which Richie Kotzen breaks out a few of his old Ibanezes from his pre-Fender days. He also shows off some of his signature model Fender Telecasters, which are super-high on my guitar wish list. I believe his signature model Strats and Telecasters are only available in Asia but I’d love love love to see them released by Fender Australia some day. Richie’s sound was a big reason why I traded my Ibanez Jem for a Fender American Vintage ’62 Strat last year.
Anyway, onto the video.
From Richie Kotzen’s website:
Hello Friends and Fans,
The latest news is that my new cd is finished! The new cd is called 24 Hours. There will be a new music video posted
very soon for the title track. I can’t wait to share the new music with everyone!
Official release date TBA.
Thanks to Truth In Shredding for the heads-up!
Thanks a lot asshole.
Richie Kotzen is one of the coolest rock stars in the world. Altiyan Childs is not. Altiyan Childs is not allowed to steal Richie Kotzen’s look, nor to ruin it for the rest of us who want to steal it.
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.
Wow, does Richie Kotzen ever stop? He’s already released approximately 23,271 different albums since the late 80s, and he’s just finished a CD of soul music with Ritchie Zito under the band name Wilson Hawk.