Richie Kotzen records 50-song album for his 50th birthday

(Image credit: Debra L Rothenberg/Getty Images)

Have anything special planned for your 50th birthday? Richie Kotzen sure does for his – a new 50-song album titled, appropriately, 50 For 50.

The three-disc effort from the rock/blues/soul/jazz/funk electric guitar shredder and singer, who also fronts the Winery Dogs, is out February 3 via Kotzen’s own Headroom-Inc. label.

In addition to self-producing the collection, Kotzen also wrote and performed all 50 songs. And if that sounds overly ambitious, keep in mind that 50 For 50 is, amazingly, the guitarist’s 22nd solo album overall.

Said Kotzen about the new record, “The idea of a 50 song album came to me while I was on tour sometime last year. I had completed what would have been your typical 10 to 12 song album and was anticipating a 2020 release. Somewhere along the line, I discovered a few completed songs that for whatever reason were never released. Along with that, I found a massive collection of material that was in various forms of completion.”

(Image credit: Richie Kotzen)

He continued, “I decided to take that summer and fall, stay in the studio, and see how many of these ideas I could bring to completion. The concept was to include the already completed works and finish the other ideas and then stop once I reached 50 songs.

“Reality is we’ve got way more sitting on the hard drives waiting for attention. I figured if I can walk out of the studio with 50 songs (that I like) mixed and mastered, I can release a 50 song package on my 50th birthday.”

Keep your eye out for the first 50 For 50 track, Devil’s Hand, to be released digitally on February 3.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.