If you had asked me a week ago who Richie Kotzen is, I would have said I had no idea. Ask me now and what would I say? One of the most phenomenal guitar player/singer’s that I’ve seen in a long time. It was Saturday night and I had the night off from work for once and my best friend (A.K.A my “concert bitch”) Bob asked me if I wanted to go to this show with him. Richie Kotzen. Who the fuck is that? All he really told me was that he used to play with Poison and Mr. Big and his band The Winery Dogs. I’m always up for a show, so I told him I’d go.
Before the evening arrived, I went onto Youtube to check out some of his songs. I quickly learned that I was going to be in for a night of great music. I only listened to a few of his songs, but it was enough to know that he was good. Anyone who really knows me, knows I’m a metal head. I’ll be the first one to yell out “SLAYER!” at a country music concert. But, I also love bluesy type rock. A little bit of soul never hurt anyone…not to mention, it’s usually the best type of rock to see live.
I arrived at Rams Head around 7:45. There are many different Rams Head venues/restaurants throughout Maryland and this was my first time at the Annapolis one. Walking in, we were given assigned seats…yes, I said seats. The floor was all tables and chairs and I immediately felt like I was under dressed for the occasion. It’s definitely not the type of place you’d think of when you are headed to a show but it was a full house! We were escorted (yes escorted) to our table – 301, and we were quickly discouraged to see that we had a wooden pole blocking our view of the stage. I tried to snap pictures around it but it was hard.
Anyways, Richie took the stage around 8:30 and proceeded to rock my face off for the next hour and a half. “Soulful”, “Bluesy”, “mesmerizing”, “astounding”, “cream my panties”, “give me more and don’t stop”, are the adjectives I’d use to describe him. I was in awe from start to finish. One thing that I didn’t notice until my friend pointed it out, was that he was not using a guitar pic! He was doing solos with no guitar pic!! Was this guy for real?
At one point, the bassist and drummer (I can’t recall their names) walked off the stage and Richie made a comment that it looked like they quit. They didn’t. This was Richie’s moment to shine. He played “What is” by himself and it was awesome!
His drummer and bassist came back, played some more and then it was Richie’s turn to leave the stage as we were hit with a drum and bass solo. I wish I could tell you these guys’ names but I didn’t write them down and, well, I’m horrible when it comes to remembering names, but they were just as good as Mr. Kotzen himself.
When Richie came back, he took over the drum set and pounded out some beats and sang at the same time. At one point, the drummer came over and started banging away on the drums with him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen two people play the same drum set like they did. All the while, Richie had his guitar around his neck so when he got up, he was immediately playing the guitar! It was pretty bad ass in my opinion!
Again, I wish I could tell you more about them but this was brand spackin’ new to me. I did download his essential CD, and so far my favorites are “War Paint,” “You can’t save me,” and “What is.” Of course, I still have so many other songs on so many more CD’s to check out so I’m sure this list is going to grow and grow. I’m not sure why this guy isn’t well known but I suggest you check him out, either live or buying one of his CDs, or hey…both! You won’t be disappointed if you are into the kind of bluesy rock like I am that just makes your soul happy!