richiekotzen400 When Richie Kotzen plays his guitar, you know it’s him. The guitar virtuoso, singer and songwriter possesses an inimitable style that’s both instantly recognizable and immediately striking. This unique style courses through The Essential Richie Kotzen, a career retrospective collection set for release on September 2nd through Loud & Proud Records. It encompasses this iconic talent’s entire career of his most essential work and includes two CDs of classic material, acoustic performances, bootleg material and two brand new songs (War Paint and Walk With Me), and a DVD of music videos, acoustic performances and bootleg material. A three-song sampler, including the two new songs along with Lie To Me, is being serviced to rock radio stations later this month. Fans can pre-order the album at here.

Kotzen personally curated The Essential Richie Kotzen from his 18 solo albums in order to give listeners the most comprehensive, cohesive and concise introduction to his extensive body of work. “I’ve really changed and grown as an artist and as a person,” he says. “I hand-selected songs so newcomers can get into my music and learn who I am as a recording artist.”

War Paint builds from an opening bluesy riff into a bombastic chorus punctuated by Kotzen’s gravelly delivery and impeccable lead playing. He explains, “It was a challenge to make a studio recording sound like a live band with only one musician playing all the instruments. I think I accomplished that on this track.” At the same time, Walk With Me sees Kotzen evolving once more and incorporating a Theremin, an antique electronic instrument, into an emotive and engaging anthem. “There was a specific sound I was hearing in the song,” he reveals. “I realized it was a Theremin, so I bought one. I spent a couple of weeks learning it. I used that where the lead guitar would normally go. It was a really rewarding departure for me.”

With his guitar styles ranging from rock, blues, jazz and fusion to pop and soul, Richie Kotzen has built a remarkably diverse 20 year career as a guitarist, singer and songwriter. During that span, Kotzen toured with his trio extensively outside the United States, building a loyal fan base and selling out shows throughout Europe, Latin America, and Japan. In 1996, Fender guitars honored him with not one, but two signature model guitars. His signature model Telecaster is available worldwide and continues to be a top seller for the brand. In 2006, KOTZEN received one of his biggest personal honors when The Rolling Stones chose him to open up a string of Japanese shows placing him in front of some of his biggest crowds to date. He has not only built an incredibly successful solo career, but has also found himself writing, recording and playing live with a variety of different artists, including Jazz legends Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. He currently plays guitar and fronts the band The Winery Dogs with bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Mike Portnoy (the band’s self-titled debut album debuted at #27 on the Billboard “Top 200 Albums” chart).

With his 20th full-length solo album on the horizon for 2015 as well as countless gigs, Richie Kotzen’s legacy is only continuing to expand. “When you perform, record or write, you go to a different place,” he concludes. “It’s another world. I love hearing people react to the music and lyrics. That’s the ultimate reward.”

Stay tuned for solo touring news, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Here’s the complete track listing of The Essential Richie Kotzen:


1. War Paint *
2. Walk With Me *
3. Love Is Blind
4. Go Faster
5. Fooled Again
6. OMG (What’s Your Name?)
7. Help Me
8. Bad Situation
9. Lie To Me *
10. Fear
11. You Can’t Save Me
12. Doing What The Devil Says To Do
13. Remember (Reprise)
* never before released *


1. What Is (2014)
2. High (2014)
3. Change (2014)
4. Special (2014)
5. Paint It On (Acoustic Version)
6. Holding On (Acoustic Version)
7. Until You Suffer Some (Fire And Ice) – (Acoustic Version)
8. The Road (Acoustic Version)
9. Regret (Original Demo Version)
10. Damaged (Original Demo Version)


1. Walk With Me (2014)
2. Paying Dues (2009)
3. 24 Hours (2011)
4. Larger Than Life (2009)
5. Losing My Mind (2005)
6. Help Me (2012)
7. Chase It (2008)
8. Player (2011)
9. The Shadow (2011)
10. My Angel (2011)
11. I Would (2008)

Richie Kotzen on the web:


9 Responses

  1. Can’t wait finally people will get to know his music! He such a talented man he plays all the instruments on the CD which is even more amazing wish him all the luck in the world

    1. Brian,

      I couldn’t agree more. Eddie always said that Kozten reminds him of Sykes, a triple threat: great singer, guitarist and song writer. I concur with that statement too, both have talent for days.

      Dana from : )

  2. How awesome would a Sykes/Kotzen tour be?! I’m a huge fan of John Sykes’ guitar playing, singing and songwriting. But I’ve also become a huge fan of Richie’s work. He has a unique style of playing and I really dig how he goes old school with a Telecaster and plays with his fingers instead of a pick. His voice is also incredible. I’m glad people are finally starting to notice what a great talent Richie is.

    1. James,

      That would be an amazing tour. If only it could happen…Eddie?

      Dana from here 🙂

  3. The biggest laugh my wife and I got from the MOR cruise this year was Kotzen coming out in one of the small bar venues on the ship and performing in what looked like somebody’s bad nightmare of a bathrobe. I just couldn’t quit looking at it and cracking up and unfortunately for us it kind of ruined his performance. He was also a little self indulgent, telling stories that weren’t real interesting. But no doubt the guy can play the guitar. I wouldn’t call him great at singing or songwriting though.

  4. saw riche back in may in Houston tx at scouts bar man he kicked ass!! met him after the show wonderful and very humble person I bought his signature telecaster a few weeks ago he put a lot of thought into it a fine tune machine cheers Richie!!!

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