RICHIE KOTZEN To Release 21st Solo Album 'Salting Earth'
RICHIE 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.”
Here’s the complete track listing of SALTING EARTH:
1. End of Earth
3. Divine Power
4. I’ve Got You
5. My Rock
6. This Is Life
7. Make It Easy
9. Cannon Ball