Cover songs can be tricky. A balancing act that often results in calamity. Lean too far one way and be accused of musical blasphemy; keep things too safe and be reliably informed you shouldn’t have bothered in the first place. So with that in mind, surely an album consisting entirely of cover versions is just asking for trouble, isn’t it?Continue reading
Starting off their current tour with not one, but two New York City shows, The Winery Dogs backed up their bite with a huge bark. Their brand of hard rock is so full of energy you couldn’t help but get drawn into the hype Opening the night was an acoustic set from Tony Harnell of TNT and his guitarist Virus, of Device fame. They belted out songs from his solo career as well as Westworld. Singer Rachel Lorin joined them for the final three songs of the set including a cover of the Nazareth song ‘Love Hurts’. Tony did reveal there will be some TNT shows in the US to mark their upcoming anniversary.
The Winery Dogs fans are surprisingly vocal. For a band with only one album there was a sing-a-long for almost every song. From opening songs ‘Elevate’ and ‘We are One’ the crowd nearly eclipsed the bands’ harmonies. Maybe it has something to do with the musicians themselves being killer players. It was a pick-less night between the bass behemoth of Billy Sheehan and singer/guitarist, Richie Kotzen they both displayed insane finger playing. Seeing a bassist in rock without a pick is normal, but for a guitarist, rare. During ‘Six Feet Deeper’, they leaped into part of Jimi Hendrix staple ‘Hey Joe’ before diving head first into a dizzying drum solo by the mighty Mike Portnoy. Following that up, Billy blurring goodness filled ‘The Other Side’. With only an hours worth of material on their debut album, they treated the crowd to a brand new song. As they were wrapping up they went into my personal favorite, ‘The Dying’. It is one of those great, moody songs can stay on repeat forever.
They returned to the stage for the encore, a massive rocking rendition of The Four Tops, ‘Reach Out (I’ll be There)’. Before closing the night off they Richie made his way over to the church organ for rendition of “Regret”. Instead of lighters, there were cell phone lights shining as the ballad carried on. To wrap up the first night of a two night stand, they knocked out ‘Shy Boy’ by Sheehan’s old band Talas. The Winery Dogs are a rocking groove machine of fun that I’d encourage anyone to check out when they hit your area.
We are One
Six Feet Deeper
The Other Side
You Saved Me
I’m No Angel
Untilttled New Song
Reach Out (I’ll Be There) (The Four Top cover)
Shy Boy (Talas cover)
Tony Harnell on Facebook
Words and Photos by Omar Cordy