The Winery Dogs – The Winery Dogs


winery dogs Former Dream Theater skinsman Mike Portnoy likes to keep himself occupied with a variety of different projects. His latest musical venture is a power trio called The Winery Dogs, together with Billy Sheenan (Mr Big) and guitarist/singer Richie Kotzen. Let’s see what their debut album has to offer.

Given the musical background and the virtuosic skills of the gents on their respective instruments one would expect an album full of instrumental wizardry. More of an album from musicians for musicians as it were…however, The Winery Dogs are all about accessible classic rock songs, injected with a healthy dose of blues, jazz, funk and soul for extra effect. This works very well, given the sheer quality of songs like ‘Elevate’, ‘Desire’ and ‘I’m No Angel’. These tracks are so catchy that they would sit well with a more mainstream oriented audience.

Whereas Mike Portnoy (drums) and Billy Sheenan (bass) are mostly content with providing a solid foundation it’s Richie Kotzen that really shines on this album with his soulful guitar leads and his soaring vocals. He somewhat reminds me of Chris Robinson (Black Crows) and Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) at times. Kotzen really comes into his own on blues/soul-orientated tracks like ‘You Saved Me’ and ‘Regret’.

The self-titled The Winery Dogs album is very uncomplicated and fun rock and roll affair with three established musicians who are having the time of their life. Together with the Black Star Riders album The Winery Dogs will dominate my playlist for this summer. Heartily recommended!

9/10

Raymond Westland

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