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RICHIE KOTZEN In San Juan Capistrano, CA

By Junkman, On-Air Personality
Monday, May 8, 2017 @ 1:03 PM


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4-23-17 At The Coach House Photo Courtesy Of Loud And Proud Records

Guitarist/singer Richie Kotzen and his band, supporting his latest release, Salting Earth, made a stop at this legendary club in Southern California recently, and I was lucky enough to be in attendance. Seeing Kotzen in a live situation is always a treat, but I really enjoy seeing him at the Coach House, which is a very intimate club with great sight lines and an impressive sound system, making for a very enjoyable evening.

Kotzen went right to work, starting the show with the first track off the new recording, “End Of Earth” and it was full steam ahead with a sweaty, soulful 17 song set. His latest was well represented, with 7 songs that ranged from brooding self-introspect, to total soulful power, featuring his rich bluesy vocals. The combination of his smooth voice combined with his incredible guitar playing is what sets Kotzen far above many others in his genre. He certainly is talented.

I really enjoyed the song “Thunder” from Salting Earth, it just plays out especially well in a live setting. It also spotlights his great band, bassist Dylan Wilson, and Mike Bennett on drums. They have been playing together for quite a while now and have become extremely tight. The new song “Cannon Ball” featured Kotzen on electric piano, and could easily have been a hit in the “Philadelphia soul” sound of the 1970’s. Being a Pennsylvania native, Kotzen no doubt, is displaying his roots.

A three song acoustic set, absolutely floored the sold out crowd, and was highlighted by a spirited version of Kotzen’s 2006 song “Doin’ What The Devil Says To Do”, which garnered him a standing ovation, in the sit-down supper club setting. And, after an interesting and very “in the pocket” drum solo from Bennett, Kotzen hit the accelerator pedal and cranked it up, again re-visiting the 2006 Into The Black record with “Fear”, yet another in my basket of Richie Kotzen favorites.

I cannot say enough how much control this man has over not only his guitar, but his exceptional voice, and by the time he again visited 2006 with “You Can’t Save Me”, we all seemed to wonder what he had left in the tank. But that was it, and so ended a very satisfying evening of soul, blues, rock, jazz, and more, all courtesy of 3 incredible players, one in particular. Richie Kotzen has released dozens of records, and in many styles. Do yourself a favor and explore his catalogue of music. If you have the chance, buy a ticket and see his show when he comes to a town near you. If that is not enough, I would hope that you get a chance to see him play with his other band, THE WINERY DOGS. I am and have been a fan of this man’s music for years. I hope you will be too. For more information, visit his website, www.richiekotzen.com. My thanks to his “people” for getting me in to the show.


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