A lot of artists have been doing covers to pass the time thanks to quarantine due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Watch Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo, The Winery Dogs, Neal Morse Band, BPMD) cover The Ramones classic ‘We’re A Happy Family’ on vocals and all the instruments. Extra points if you catch where he changed the lyrics to his own happy family!
Billy Sheehan (Sons of Apollo, The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big), who emerged from the upstate New York music scene in the late 1970s with the band Talas, has signed a deal with Metal Blade Records for the release of a new studio album, their first formal album ever. Talas earned its reputation performing gigs in the Buffalo and Rochester scenes. Although Talas started out by playing covers, it eventually introduced originals to its setlist. Sheehan later was well known as a studio musician before joining David Lee Roth’s late 1980s solo band, and later chart-topping stardom with Mr. Big (‘To Be With You’). The news of TALAS’s new record deal was broken by Sheehan’s longtime manager Michael Faley, a former roadie with Talas who also works for Metal Blade. On Friday (January 17), Faley posted a photo of Sheehan signing the contract with Metal Blade and included the following caption: “Billy Sheehan signing contract for a new TALAS studio album with Metal Blade Records. The 4 piece TALAS never recorded a studio album and there is soooo much material to pick from.” Continue reading
As music fans, we are getting spoiled these days with supergroups and guest collaborations. One rumor of a collaboration from the last decade that didn’t happen was Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo, The Winery Dogs, Neal Morse Band, Flying Colors) Devin Townsend and Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt . In a series of tweets between Portnoy and Townsend the last few days, Portnoy expressed interest that we would still ike to work with them in some capacity someday. Townsend answered back about his admiration for Portnoy, and offered some insights as to why this never happened. Åkerfeldt is not on Twitter and hasn’t commented. This is obviously just speculation and playful musing by Mike. We are not trying to fan the flames of it, except to say we’d love to hear some music from this group, if it ever happens. Remember that music is a gift and these artists don’t owe the fans much of anything. Thanks for sharing Mike, don’t kill us! Continue reading
The Winery Dogs have announced their full tour dates for the USA for 2019. Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr. Big), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and drummer Mike Portnoy (Sons Of Apollo, Dream Theater, The Neal Morse Band, Flying Circus), the band will embark on a 20 date headline tour, their first in three years. Continue reading
The Winery Dogs, a prog rock supergroup featuring guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr. Big), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) And drummer Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo, Dream Theater, Neal Morse Band, Flying Circus) are plotting a new North American tour in May of 2019. Tour dates are coming soon and it will be the group’s first tour in nearly three years. Continue reading
Sons of Apollo the supergroup of prog metal legends featuring members of Dream Theater, Guns N Roses Mr. Big, The Winery Dogs and Journey performed last weekend at the Ancient Theatre in Plovdiv, Bulgaria for an upcoming CD, DVD and Blu-ray. The group performed two sets separated by an intermission — one “regular” set, and another that featured an orchestra and choir. They ran through a set list of their own originals from their debut Psychotic Symphony (InsideOut), as well as covers of Dream Theate, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, Ozzy, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Rainbow and more! Watch the fan-filmed footage below! The Ancient Theatre is fast becoming a favorite venue for DVD performances and career-spanning shows due to its amazing sound and the historic venue itself. They have hosted recent major artists such as Devin Townsend, Opeth, Behemoth, Apocalyptica and more. Continue reading
Supergroup Metal Allegiance is two weeks out from releasing their new album Volume II – Power Drunk Majesty via Nuclear Blast. The band has released a new video for their single ‘Bound By Silence’ featuring John Bush (Armored Saint, ex-Anthrax). Check it out! Continue reading
Sons of Apollo, the prog metal supergroup made up of members of Dream Theater, The Winery Dogs, and Journey and more band have canceled all of their summer festival tour dates. The band released a statement to the fans apologizing. Their stunning debut album Psychotic Symphony, came out last October via InsideOut Music. Continue reading
Richie Kotzen came through Illinois for not 1, not 2, but 3 shows earlier this month. The tour was dubbed Salting Earth, but Salting Illinois is more like it. Richie was kicking off part 2 of his tour which got started in good ‘ol Moline, (almost Iowa “Are we in Heaven”) IL. Then Richie hit Reggie’s Rock Club in South Chicago and for extra rock n’ roll measure Kotzen performed for the Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville, IL, which was a make up show that was canceled last year. 3 nights of Richie made fans really happy in the Chicago-land area.
Kotzen is no stranger to rock n’ roll, with a little over 20 solo albums spanning a 28 year career; 5 years with Mr. Big; 2 years with Poison and now with The Winery Dogs (with Billy Sheehan & Mike Portnoy); Richie is definitely in a class of his own. His vocal style has a smooth raspy edge to it, similar to that of David Coverdale. Richie has a 3 finger fingerpickin’ guitar technique, with a lightning-fast guitar style. He slides his fingers up and down that guitar neck so effortlessly. Richie is a force to be reckoned with.
The very intimate Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville, IL is a slightly different type of venue that may not see a ton of Rock n’ Roll but I’m sure has seen plenty of Orchestras, Plays etc. being a performing arts center, which gave a very clean and crisp acoustical sound. The venue has an oversized stage, and the Kotzen 3 piece band was set front and center so the crowd could be up close and personal with Richie. There was no lighting flare with this show, no crazy visual displays, but what this show did have was great, performed to perfection rock n’ roll. When the 3-piece ensemble hit the stage it was with only one purpose – To deliver pure Rock and Roll. Richie along with Dylan Wilson (bass), and Mike Bennett (drums) slowly took their spots to a slightly somber crowd. Which heated up shortly after the first chord rang out.
Richie kicked everything off with a very appropriate song “You’re Entertainer” off the 2009 album Peace Sign then launched right into “Bad Situation” off 2011 album 24 Hours. The evening bounced around through all of the essential Richie Kotzen songs old and new. At one point Richie broke set to fulfill a special request, which he mentioned he doesn’t normally do, but he launched into a very smooth version of “Sara Smile” by Hall & Oates which the crowd just ate up.
Richie lit up the evening with a great selection of music spanning through his lustrous 28-year career. It was a great show in a great little Naperville, IL venue. The fans were very appreciative that Richie came back too. It might’ve even been why he gave a special extended encore, which included, “War Paint” with a little classic “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” a old Elvin Bishop cover, and so did the crowd.
Richie is on tour now until May 23rd in the states then off overseas until July 27th. Check out Richie Kotzen’s web site at: http://richiekotzen.com/tour-dates/ for more details. It was a great show, by a very impressive guitar virtuoso. Catch him while you can.
- Your Entertainer
- Bad Situation
- Love Is Blind
- Go Faster
- Fooled Again
- The Road
- Sara Smile (Hall & Oates cover)
- End of Earth
- Help Me
- War Paint
- Fooled Around and Fell in Love (Elvin Bishop cover)
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY RICK TRIANA
Progressive metal supergroup Sons Of Apollo featuring ex-Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses), Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force) will start 2018 with the first dates of their debut wold-tour. They begin in Tampa, FL on February 3 as part of the Cruise To The Edge prog rock music cruise, which will be sailing to Belize and Costa Maya. Next, they will play Miami, FL on February 9 as part of the Monsters Of Rock Cruise Pre-Show party. Tickets for the upcoming tour dates go on sale this Friday, December 1 at 12pm local time. Psychotic Symphony is out now via InsideOut Music. Continue reading