The Winery Dogs are rock n' rolls newest addition to the scene but make no mistake, the members are anything but newbies in the biz.
Singer/guitarist Richie Kotzen made himself known with Poison and Mr. Big while bassist Billy Sheehan (whom we've interviewed, also with Mr. Big has also been with Talas and David Lee Roth. Another BackstageMusician.Com Alumni, Mike Portnoy rounds out the line-up who has been in (takes a deep breath), Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, Transatlantic, Avenged Sevenfold, Flying Colors and Adrenalin Mob (to name a few).
With this lineup, it was hard to imagine what would come out as a final product. What they managed was a record of bluesy but rockin' guitar riffs, drums hard and in the pocket with bass tones only Sheehan could produce. The vocals are incendiary as well. Not just from Richie but the entire group. They clearly recognize the art of good song writing and having plenty of backing vocals without over doing anything.
There are moments on this record where it's the hook that's going to make you put a song on repeat. The song "Elevate" is a good example of this. But then there are moments where musicianship and "space" are utilized to truly bring chills down your spine. I'd cite "The Dying" as an example of this. I don't use the term "musicianship" in this case as shredding riffs and chops, but them knowing the value of simplicity, sonic reinforcement and guitar solos that carry melodies (sorry air-guitarists!).
Are there times of chops and fast fills? Well duh. Of course there are. You read the line-up right? But the point is, this record isn't based on that. Those are brought out sparingly and still done tastefully.
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