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Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen‘s Smith/Kotzen: where Iron Maiden meets The Winery Dogs

Two unlikely worlds come together on the self-titled debut album from Iron Maiden’s Adrian Smith and guitar hero Richie Kotzen

Smith/Kotzen - Smith/Kotzen
(Image: © BMG)

After conquering the literary world with his angling memoir, Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith is in a buoyant mood. Here, he teams up with Winery Dogs’ six-string virtuoso Richie Kotzen, and goes straight for the bluesy, hard rock jugular. The results, it hardly needs saying, are aimed squarely at guitar freaks, but these are deftly crafted songs, with the gruffly soulful Smith and the more bombastic Kotzen taking turns to sing their hearts out. Taking My Chances and the fiery Running are both riff-driven and catchy as hell, Scars is a brooding, downbeat affair that recalls King’s X in their 90s pomp and Solar Fire struts like old school Irish blues-rocker Rory Gallagher. A couple of corny misfires aside, Smith/Kotzen nails the simple stuff, with class.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.