Richie Kotzen and Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith have announced their first album as a duo, Smith/Kotzen.
Recorded on the Turks & Caicos islands in February 2020, and produced by Kotzen and Smith themselves, the album features both guitarists sharing and trading off vocals, and guitar and bass duties. It's set for a March 26 release via BMG.
Smith/Kotzen also features Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain on drums (on "Solar Fire") while Kotzen's touring bandmate, Tal Bergman, mans the drums on three other tunes. On the album's other five cuts, the drumming is handled by the ever-versatile Kotzen himself.
You can watch the music video for the album's opener and first single, "Taking My Chances," below.
“Richie and I started working together a couple of years ago," Smith said in a press release.
"We’d been jamming as we’d been friends for a few years before that. We both share a love for classic rock and bluesy rock so we decided to get together and start writing some songs and it went from there.
"Pretty much everything on the album is handled between Richie and myself including the production. We had developed a really strong idea of how we wanted it to sound and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. There’s a lot of cool songs on there that we are really happy with.”
“We had a very fluid process in writing," Kotzen added. "Sometimes Adrian would send me a riff and I would immediately hear some kind of melody or a vocal idea. And sometimes it was the other way round so it was a kind of circular motion.
"We’d get together whenever we could and throw some ideas around and it just evolved, which was great because there was no pressure and nothing other than just a natural course and I think the record really speaks for that.”
Smith/Kotzen will be available on Digipack CD, 12” black vinyl with an embossed sleeve, in a limited edition 12” red & black smoke effect colored vinyl package, and digitally (streaming and download). You can check out its track list below.
To preorder the album, step right this way.
- "Taking My Chances"
- "Some People"
- "Glory Road"
- "Solar Fire"
- "You Don’t Know Me"
- "I Wanna Stay"
- "‘Til Tomorrow"
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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.