The Winery Dogs - The Winery Dogs

The Winery Dogs cover
The Winery Dogs
The Winery Dogs
Victor Entertainment
The big music roundabout by Mike Portnoy keeps going on and we are here counting what the next thing he gets involved is and so on. This time it is a “band” called The Winery Dogs. It started out with Mike and John Sykes (Whitesnake, Blue Murder, Thin Lizzy) but it didn’t work out and soon Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, ex-Poison) was asked to join in. Richie is indeed a multi-talented guy who can sing, play the guitar and write good music as well. On bass we have the legendary Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big), who needs no special introduction. Thus, as you have understood, we have a super power rock trio here. Things were never easy with all those super groups so here we go again. I’m gonna approach this album trying not to be biased by its members but only focus on its music. Let’s just pretend that this is a newcomer consisting of unknown members… just for a while…
Getting their influences for the 70s rock movement and bands like Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Hendrix, Cream, Glenn Hughes among others, The Winery Dogs are not trying to fill a gap in today’s music; they rather try to add themselves in the never-ending list of the 70s-inspired (copy-paste) bands of our time. This joke has gone too far and I really can’t stand any untalented guy who thinks that they can be a rock star just by rippin’ off some 70s tunes. Anyhow, this is out of our topic but I needed to say a couple of things… since the time and place were right.
Back to the album again… every guy plays perfectly (how couldn’t they?) and the production is top notch. The CD was produced & mixed by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther, Stone Sour etc.). It’s true that this album has everything it takes to be superb except for inspiration… or better said apart from catchy tunes. It’s like one of those many CDs of our time that has no real personality and lacks memorable hooks. Richie sings his ass off but his – once every while – Glenn Hughes “voice replications” do not sound that good at long last. At a time, I thought that the great Glenn was doing some guest vocals – for example on “Desire” – but ain’t the case here. Why Richie chose to do so I can’t tell, but it doesn’t add anything to the final outcome… it kinda makes it less interesting.
Another thing that doesn’t stand well is the album’s duration which is about 60 minutes. Too long for hard, blues rock & roll album don’t ya think? Some fillers shouldn’t have made it to the final album. Without being bad “The Winery Dogs” leaves much to be desired. I can hear a few saying that this album is “apocalyptic”, “the best thing since sliced bread” and various other nonsense… just to praise their music idols.
Portnoy has played with numerous bands and musicians since he left Dream Theater but what’s next? To be on stage with Justin? How long can we stand his music journeys while being away from DT? A possible re-union (which will happen sooner or later) would make the DT fans happy and let us deal with something else apart from Portnoy’s projects which happen to be mushrooming these days…