Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the European release of “Live In Sao Paulo“, Richie Kotzen’s first-ever live album on July 4th 2008. With much prompting from fans, Kotzen chose for the purpose a stellar performance from his South American tour in 2007.
“Live in Sao Paulo” is an absorbing collective blend of Kotzen’s songs throughout the years. His live performance reflects the guitar style’s that has defined his career as a virtuoso. Kotzen reveals to fans live his true diversity with the rhythmic labours of “A Love Divine” to the poignant ballad “Remember”. The performance continually travels between moments of classic-rock song “Shapes of Things”, to the uplifting original “Stand”.
Kotzen is influenced from such bands as Bad Company, Free, early Van Halen and Cream. They are the inspiration for his songs, but having deep Philly roots Kotzen tends to combine rock with the Motown influences he heard as a kid. “Much influence for my songs comes from the likes of the Spinners, O-Jays, and Curtis Mayfield”, explains Kotzen. “Growing up outside Philadelphia and listening to those old soul stations I ended up with that sound being a heavy influence in my writing even though the core of what I do is Rock”.
Kotzen burst onto the heavy metal scene as a teenager with a lightning-fast guitar techniques. With his talents, Kotzen has played with some of the best musicians; securing such major collaboration with the band Mr. Big and renowned jazz great Stanley Clarke as well as his own solo projects. “I have been lucky, in the sense, that I have been able to play with guys who I could learn from. The biggest musical lesson for me was playing in a band with Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. Obviously these guys are jazz musicians and I am not, but I learned so much from the time we recorded and toured together. My favourite rock bassist is Billy Sheehan and we were in Mr. Big together for 3 years which was awesome”.
“Live In Sao Paulo” tracklisting includes:
Click on the highlighted tracks above to preview the song!
Many of the artists who were highly successful in the 80’s have tried reigniting their careers with sounds that take listeners back to their heyday. Whitesnake, Def Leppard and House of Lords have all released discs that their fans should be pleased with. Dokken tries to recapture the lightning, or sound that once made them famous as well.
George Lynch and Jeff Pilson have long been absent from the band. In fact, the current lineup of Dokken, Brown, Sparks and Levin, is one of the longest running for Dokken, since the bands’ most successful discs from the mid to late 80’s. It is ironic that this lineup, tries to emulate the sound of the Lynch/Pilson era. Jon Levin does a damn good George Lynch imitation, and he really cuts loose on this record. Don Dokken recruited none other than Jeff Scott Soto to sing back up vocals on this record, and it really does make a difference. That unfortunately is where the good ends and the bad begins.
In 2008, Don Dokken has very limited range with his vocals. He doesn’t take the chances that he used to in the 80’s, and that is what made their music interesting, and exciting. I am assuming that Don can’t hit the high notes anymore, as he doesn’t bother to try on Lightning Strikes Again. He stays within his own comfort zone, and as a result, the songs on this disc lack the fire of the band’s earlier material. On certain songs, Don sounds like he strains to hit the notes that he use to hit with ease.
As much as I wanted to enjoy this record, I found the songs limp and uninspiring. There are three or four songs on this disc that are above average, but the majority of the material is sub par in my opinion. The music sounds close to their original stuff from the 80’s, but without the powerful vocals that these songs deserve, they come out sounding somewhat below average. After three lackluster albums since the year 2000, I believe it is time for the band Dokken to hang it up. Lightning did not strike again for this listener.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Standing On The Outside
2. Give Me A Reason
3. Heart To Stone
5. How I Miss Your Smile
7. Point Of No Return
8. I Remember
9. Judgment Day
10. It Means
11. Release Me
12. This Fire
Don Dokken – vocals
Mick Brown – drums
Jon Levin – guitar
Barry Sparks – bass
Disturbed have just unveiled their video for “Inside the Fire,” the first single from the forthcoming, Indestructible, which hits stores June 3rd. The video was directed by Nathan “Karma” Cox who has also helmed videos for Bleeding Through and HIM among others.
Both the lyrics of “Inside the Fire” as well as the video’s storyline tell the real life tale of a suicide that personally affected Disturbed vocalist, David Draiman. Knowing the pain and sensitive nature of the subject Draiman precedes the video with a public service announcement for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.