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Richie Kotzen – Salting Earth [2017]

Richie Kotzen has returned with his twenty first solo album and delivers one of his best all round vocal performances over a great mixture of musical styles ranging from piano ballads to riff based hard rockers. Written, arranged, produced, and performed by Kotzen, Salting Earth sounds warm and organic with some nice vocal overdubs and a few blazing guitar solos that keep things guitar centric.

There are many highlights throughout this strong album but a couple of notable moments include the eerie opening of “End Of Earth” that quickly moves into a funky guitar riff that eventually winds its way to a really bluesy solo, the really catchy pre chorus vocals of “Thunder”, the brilliant Hendrix sounding guitar stylings and deep vocal performance of “Divine Power”, the hook filled chorus of “I’ve Got You” that shows his pop sensibility whilst still delivering a great guitar solo, the Prince influenced sensuality of “This Is Life” which might be the standout track as it features everything you could ever want in a Kotzen classic, and the very groovy yet melodic piano ballad “Cannon Ball” that sounds like it could have been a classic Hall & Oates hit.

Salting Earth is certainly one of the strongest albums in a very prolific and interesting career from Kotzen showing that he is still a strong creative force as he approaches his sixth decade. After seeing him live recently in Australia I can safely say that Salting Earth has become one of my favourite albums due to the combination of the eclectic musical feel and soulful vocal delivery and is certainly one of the strongest albums this year.

Band Members
Richie Kotzen – Vocals,all instruments
Julia Lange – Backing vocals

Tracks
01. End of Earth
02. Thunder
03. Divine Power
04. I’ve Got You
05. My Rock
06. This Is Life
07. Make It Easy
08. Meds
09. Cannon Ball
10. Grammy

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