Richie Kotzen, Then and Now

I first heard Richie Kotzen on one of those flexible records that used to come with each issue of Guitar Player magazine. Even though he was a latecomer to the 80’s shred party, he brought a truly original style to a scene crowded with sound-alikes.

Here’s a stunning solo from an instructional video he did in 1989. Sorry about the sound quality, which isn’t entirely due to his preference for Laney amps.

Like many others in his class, he mellowed out a bit. His repertoire has grown more rootsy. He ditched the Ibanez RG’s for Fender Strats and Teles. I have even spotted him going pickless. And he’s singing. Singing quite well.

Whether you’re still on the anti-shred bandwagon, or like me, you never hopped aboard, there’s plenty to like in this guy’s playing.

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