5/4/17 – Arcada Theatre – St. Charles, IL.
By Bradley Todd
It’s hard for me to decide what I like best about Richie Kotzen.
He got his start as a professional musician in the form of an upcoming guitar hero, and I first heard his name when he joined Poison in 1991. But the stint in Poison was short lived, and he has since had a long, prolific solo career that has resulted in 20+ albums. Most recently, he is known for being a member of superstar rock trio, The Winery Dogs (along with bass player extraordinaire, Billy Sheehan, and drum master, Mike Portnoy).
But Kotzen’s musical palette is much wider than merely slinging axe. He is an accomplished singer with a voice equal parts grit and soul. He is a talented keyboard player with R&B leanings that harken back to a classic era of soul that doesn’t go out of style. And he’s got a bit of funk in his style that makes its way into his playing and mixes with everything heretofore mentioned that result in one very interesting singer/songwriter who covers a lot of ground.
And therein lies my dilemma: I love blazing guitars, soulful piano, vocals that rock, but sometimes croon, and musical grooves that swing, etc… Luckily, all of these elements can be found on Richie’s new album with the insightful title, Salting Earth.
Kotzen is currently out on tour spreading the salt of this new release around, in a lengthy schedule that will see him covering North America, South America, and parts of Europe and Asia late into 2017. He made a stop in the greater Chicagoland area, at St. Charles’ Arcada Theatre, on May 4th, where he put all the facets of his musical personality on display for an intimate gathering of hardcore fans (see full photo gallery below setlist).
Kotzen is a commanding presence, handsome with an intense demeanor, who is all business as he delivers the emotions that are the core of his musical compositions. He played with a trio, including skilled musicians, Dylan Wilson on bass, and Mike Bennett on drums, that provided a solid foundation for the proceedings.
SETLIST (courtesy of setlist.fm) ** FULL GALLERY & Official Videos BELOW**
End of Earth
Love is Blind
Doin’ What the Devil Says to do
This is Life
You can follow Richie Kotzen at his website: www.richiekotzen.com
You can sample two new videos of tracks from Salting Earth here: