By the time you read this, The Winery Dogs first tour has now been complete. The Sixxis and The Winery Dogs visited Cincinnati, Ohio’s Mad Frog on the second to last night of their tour last Tuesday night. The Winery Dogs have been drawing big crowds all over the United States, so I was pretty concerned about how many people would try to squeeze into the tiny Mad Frog to see the band play. Maybe it was due to the Black Crowes were playing down the street, or just for the fact that it was a Tuesday night, but the crowd at the Mad Frog was not unmanageable. Quite frankly, seeing a show of this caliber in this small venue, made this a magical night of live music.
I never heard of the opening band The Sixxis before, and I scanned their website to see what they were about. They bio states that their “music presents a core sound of influences ranging from Classical, Jazz, and Rock music coated in a powerful, heavy, seductive, and emotional shell of sound reminiscent of Rush, Muse, Soundgarden, System of a Down, Kings X, and Alice in Chains”. I could definitely hear a mix of these influences in their performance, and I thought these guys kicked ass. They could barely fit their 5 band members on the small stage, and they rocked it nonetheless. Major kudos to Mike Portnoy for helping to bring these guys out on tour. If you are unfamiliar with the Sixxis, visit the band’s website, and check out the clip below. I think you are going to hear a lot more about these guys in the future.
I knew before The Winery Dogs even took the stage that they would be awesome, I just don’t think I realized just HOW awesome they would be. Seeing Billy Sheehan, Richie Kotzen and Mike Portnoy play on a small stage like this was just pure hard rock magic. Sheehan was on fire all night with his acrobatic bass playing. Mike Portnoy was a joy to watch. He is very animated while playing the drums, and in this small club, he controlled the light show as well (that part was pretty comical). Richie Kotzen’s had me bewildered all night. I knew he was a tremendous guitarist, but getting to see him play, and sing for the first time had me stunned. This guy is one of the best unsung talents in hard rock music.
The Winery Dogs’ set list was mostly made up of music from the band’s debut CD, some Richie’s solo music, and the Billy Sheehan penned Talas classic, “Shyboy”. I loved their extended version of “Desire”, and was very impressed by Kotzen’s two songs they performed, “Doin’ What The Devil Says to Do” and “You Can’t Save Me”. This has inspired me to seek out Richie’s solo music. It is fantastic.
Overall, I was very glad that I got to see The Winery Dogs on a small stage. To see expert musicianship from a few feet from the stage was a pretty special experience. I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot more music from The Winery Dogs. This is probably the last time they will play on the smaller stages together. I was glad I was there to see them live.
( I snapped a few pics with my point and shoot camera. You can check them out below.)
Respect. When I think of the musicians that make up the band The Winery Dogs, I have nothing but respect. Billy Sheehan, Mike Portnoy, and Richie Kotzen are amongst some of the best hard rock musicians to ever grace the stage. When I first heard about the Winery Dogs, I couldn’t wait to hear what the band had to offer. Sometimes when a so called supergroup comes out, the music isn’t quite what you expect it to be. That simply isn’t the case with the Winery Dogs. Every member of the the band shines on this release, and Richie Kotzen is the real X-factor, as his singing is far better than expected. Kotzen pushes his voice to the limit. His vocals are fantastic, and some of the best he has ever done.
The music on this CD oscillates between the decades, and gives the listener a nice voyage from the 70′s & 80′s classic rock, to some bluesier numbers, and some more modern offerings. If you have ever listened to some of Richie Kotzen’s solo releases, The Winery Dogs will seem pretty familiar to you. The music isn’t a far stretch from Kotzen’s solo material, and that is a great thing.
The major difference with The Winery Dogs, is you get the best rhythm section in hard rock, and you get the wicked solos from Mr. Sheehan, Mike Portnoy and Richie Kotzen.
The Winery Dogs give you great songs, and sophisticated jams that should satisfy even the pickiest hard rock fan. This is one of those albums that you can listen to from beginning to end, without the need to skip any songs. It really is that good.
This CD has been one of my favorites of 2013. If you haven’t picked it up, you should definitely give it a listen. I highly recommend it!!
3. We Are One
4. I’m No Angel
5. The Other Side
6. You Saved Me
7. Not Hopeless
8. One More Time
10. Six Feet Deeper
12. The Dying
The Winery Dogs are:
Richie Kotzen – Lead Vocals / Lead Guitar
Billy Sheehan – Bass / Vocals
Mike Portnoy – Drums / Vocals
THE WINERY DOGS–Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold), Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth, Mr. Big) and Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr. Big)—will launch their latest U.S. headlining tour tomorrow in Agoura Hills, CA at the Canyon Club in support of their critically-acclaimed self-titled debut album, which was released in North America July 23 on Loud & Proud Records.
Visit The Winery Dogs website, sign up for the band’s mailing list, and get a free download of their new song “We Are One”.
Please visit the Winery Dogs website HERE! Check out “We Are One” below!
What do you get when combine the talents of Billy Sheehan, Mike Portnoy & Richie Kotzen? One badass band called The Winery Dogs.
Check out their clips “Elevate” and “I’m No Angel below.