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(AS) = All seated
(SO) = Standing only
(LS) = Limited Seating
(HH) = Half and half

Please note: irrespective of this if you can't stand and require a chair please ask to go on seating list when you book your tickets with box office. The cashier on the night of the show will have this list and organise a chair for you.

The Robin2 Hotel
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A Top UK Music Venue
Classic Rock - Best Prog Venue
The Robin 2
20-28 Mount Pleasant
WV14 7LJ

TEL: 01902 401211
FAX: 01902 401418

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Windmill Radio - The Prog Mill
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Legendary US Guitarist/Vocalist/Singer/Songwriter/Producer:

Richie Kotzen

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Advance Ticket Price: £20.00 Door Price: £22.50
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Richie KotzenRichie Kotzen has never been an artist known for playing by the rules. And for this ever adventurous triple-threat songwriter/guitarist/vocalist, that meant putting on the brakes after a nonstop flurry of band-related activity in order to refuel the creative process for the ten heartfelt and hard-hitting songs that comprise his vibrant new solo album, Salting Earth, out April 14 via his own custom label, Headroom-Inc. In other words, Kotzen tossed convention on its ear by actually taking one step back in order to move two steps forward. "Itís something I really needed to do in order to reset myself," Kotzen explains.

Kotzenís "charge to recharge" was officially put into play following the mega-success of the 2015Ė16 tour behind his band The Winery Dogsí sophomore effort, the oh-so appropriately named Hot Streak. And the manís 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 "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 albumís final song, "Grammy."

Once Kotzen caught his creative breath, the ideas for Salting Earth just kept on acoming. "I have a theory about writerís block," he offers. "Basically, I donít believe in it. In my experience, when I donít feel inspired or I donít have any ideas, it equates to not having any output. In order to have output, you need input. So it really comes down to the balance between your artistic side and your life side. You need balance between the two, and thatís why itís so important for me to take long breaks from music."

Kotzenís reaffirming commitment to that life/work balance soon begat vibrant, new music. "Itís in that time when Iím away from it where ideas begin to take shape," he continues. "Then, when I find myself coming back to music, I end up in a situation with a wealth of ideas and creative energy. When Iím in that zone, the music literally writes itself. Lyrics, music, production, performance ó it all happens simultaneously on its own."

The majority of Salting Earth is the result of Kotzenís one-man production machine, with the exception of Julia Lage adding background vocals to "Make It Easy," a tasty, singalong groove stew. "Itís really not deliberate when the record is finished and suddenly Iím 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-í80s when I had a makeshift studio in my parentsí 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, Iíd have to figure out how to do it alone."

Part of Kotzenís Salting Earth reset process also meant having a commitment to challenge himself. "Iím not sure I can totally define how or why my creative process works the way it does, but I will say once again that I believe long breaks help me stay inspired musically," he reiterates. "I do know that on this record, I wrote a lot more on the piano. The song ĎMy Rock,í for example, has absolutely no guitar in the recording ó itís just piano, bass, drums, and vocals. Not that that is an odd choice, but being that for most of my career Iíve been highlighted as a guitarist, I suppose for people who never bought one of my CDs in the past, this would be surprising. But itís not so surprising to me."

For the artist within, the music mined for Salting Earth ultimately came down to being about the relationship between song and vocal. "Thatís really it," Kotzen agrees. "Every other choice is made based on what I feel suits the composition and what will support the lead vocal. That is the foundation on how my music is built. I suppose itís just how I hear things. If you think about it, when your mind hums a tune, you are humming the melody. When you sing ĎHappy Birthday,í you donít sing the drumbeat, do you?"
Kotzenís previous solo release, 2015ís 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, thereís also quite a vulnerable side on display here thatís perhaps best demonstrated in the stripped-down approach to the albumís closing salvo, "Grammy."

"That song came to me in the oddest way at the most inconvenient time," Kotzen reveals of the track that can be filed in the "first thought, best thought" category. One night when he was home alone, "I basically woke myself up with the chorus melody in my head, and in my haze, I knew that if I didnít at least record the idea, it would be forever lost," Kotzen explains. "I ended up programming a simple drum beat, and then re

Advance Ticket Price: £20.00 Door Price: £22.50
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Previous Gig: 17 June 2018: Keep It Cash - Celebrating the music of Johnny Cash (HH)
Next Gig: 20 June 2018: Jamie Flanagan as Michael Bublť  with his Big band (AS)

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