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The self-titled album by the new band The Winery Dogs leaves you wondering why these guys have not gotten together before, because the album simply rocks. The band consists of Ritchie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan and Mike Portnoy.
Kotzen has been considered one of the premiere guitar players for the past couple decades. However, he has not gotten the public’s attention that he deserves. He has played in some well-known bands including Mr. Big and Poison. But he is also known for his solo work.
Sheehan is undoubtedly considered one of the best bass players, if not the best, today. He is most known for playing in Mr. Big, as well as a few solo albums.
Portnoy is best known for being a founding member of the band Dream Theater.
Right from the opening track, “Elevate,” you can tell that you are going to be in for a fun ride with its catchy chorus and slick solos. “We Are One” is another fun song that makes you want to just get up and dance in your underwear. “I’m No Angel” opens up with a cool little riff. This song is a bit slower than the previous ones, but just as powerful.
Moving along through the album, we don’t get bored as each song is unique and worthy, especially “Not Hopeless” and “One More Time.” All of these songs show just how talented these musicians are and that they work together so cohesively.
Perhaps they saved the best for the last because the final three songs on the album leave you wanting to listen to the album all over again. “Time Machine” has a cool futuristic tone to it till it comes to the chorus, which Kotzen dominates. Then in the end of the song, Portnoy takes over by increasing the rhythm as Kotzen and Sheehan are forced to speed up their playing, making it seem like a race to the finish, which is a rather cool way to end it. Then comes the epic “The Dying.” This is the slowest of all the songs in the album, but perhaps the most powerful. We just sit back and focus on the great lyrics and let Kotzen tell the story of a wounded soldier. Finally, we end on “Regret.” This is another slower paced song. This song is a total team effort, including the vocals. Afterwards, the only thing you regret is that you didn’t listen to this album sooner.
All of these musicians are incredibly talented, but this does seem like Kotzen’s best opportunity to finally show off his talents to the world and hopefully they will discover him this time. The band is touring all over the world right now, so if you’re like me, then you should plan on seeing them live and witnessing a great new band.
Catch some of these newly released tunes below: