RICHIE KOTZEN – Acoustic Cuts

RICHIE KOTZEN - Acoustic Cuts


Frontiers Records
Release date: December 5, 2003

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You probably know the name Richie Kotzen if you have been listening to the Hard Rock/Metal genre over the last fifteen years. Maybe you know him as the guy who replaced C.C. Deville in Poison, or maybe as the guy who replaced Paul Gilbert in Mr. Big. As you may have guessed, the guy is a good guitar player, you could spar about how good, but most of you could rattle off 20 other shred-o-maniacs who you would swear were “way better,” so let’s just agree that he’s familiar with his axe.

But to an ever-increasing faction out there, he is known as a solo artist, a guitarist/singer with a penchant for soul-infused rock. Since his solo release in 1989, he has been writing, recording, and touring almost non-stop and has become a master to his craft. As if to show his true dedication to the art of songwriting and performance, he has released an album of acoustic tracks spanning some of the highlights of his recent releases. Now before you dismiss this as another 1990s buzz-word album when everyone went “acoustic,” this is the real deal: one man, one guitar, one vocal track and ten really good songs. Originally intended to be offered only at his live shows, Acoustic Cuts, became such a sought after product that Richie and Frontiers Records decided to make it available to the masses.

Steering clear of his real out-and-out rockers, the disk has an overall melancholy feel to it, which lends itself to an intimate dark coffee/art-house performance. It doesn’t seem accidental that there are no guitar solos or any noteworthy thrills on the disc, not to say the chord structures themselves aren’t a handful. But it is the songs: the melodies, the verses, the choruses, and their structure, that Richie presents in this collection. This gives his audience a chance to see the songs’ framework before the cosmetic enhancements are added.

If you have any preconceived notions that Acoustic Cuts is a walk up and down the fret board in an acoustic setting, then buyer beware; this isn’t a guitar record by any stretch of the imagination. But if you are familiar with Richie’s work, then you have to jump at the chance to hear these songs presented in their rawest form. This disk is a testament to the years of dedication that Richie has put into the fine art of writing and performing music.


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

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