Richie Kotzen

Guitar virtuoso and Winery Dogs frontman on tech and his new triple album

Exclusive video interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
February 5, 2020

By David Sands

It’s hard to ignore Richie Kotzen when he plugs in his guitar. The virtuoso and vocalist has a bold signature style that makes ample use of sweeping, tapping and legato. And for more than three decades now, he’s been wowing audiences around the world with an eclectic body of music that encompasses everything from rock and blues to fusion and soul.

The Winery Dogs frontman made his first splash in 1989, when he was signed to Mike Varney’s Shrapnel Records on the strength of his incredible shredding skills. After releasing two instrumental records and a studio album with Shrapnel, he would go on to join the glam metal band Poison in 1991 and followed that up with a series of solo albums. In 1999, Kotzen released an eponymous album as a member Vertú (a fusion group that also featured jazz greats Stanley Clark and Lenny White) and also joined the lineup of the hard rock group Mr. Big for a three-year stretch. Alongside Billy Sheehan (a bandmate from his time with Mr. Big) and Mike Portnoy, he formed The Winery Dogs in 2012. Kotzen has released three albums with them and more than 20 albums on his own over the course of his career. His most recent solo project, 50 fo 50, came out February 3.

During this year’s Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California, FGPO’s Jon Liebman sat down with Kotzen to discuss his latest album, longtime friendship with Greg Howe and the origins of his Tech 21 fly rig.

Watch our interview with Richie!


Richie Kotzen’s new album 50 for 50 is available here:

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