THE WINERY DOGS
To be released on February 3, 2023 (Three Dog Music Label)
Back in 2012 when The Winery Dogs formed, they were written off as a one-time, one and done project. We’d seen many bands put together only to issue an album, maybe two if we were lucky and they’d disband. Eleven years later, The Winery Dogs have released two studio albums, a Box set, an EP and a live album/concert video, and they are the verge of issuing their third studio album appropriately titled III. Sure, it’s not very creative, then again neither is the artwork which shows their trademark ‘paw.’ It’s the content within that really matters.
We don’t need to get into the players’ resumes. We all know their previous work and their achievements. Drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth, Talas, Sons of Apollo), and lead vocalist / guitarist Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr. Big) have a chemistry that is unsurpassed and on III, they’ve upped their game. Their last effort Hot Streak had its moments, but overall, it missed the mark a little for me. They’ve righted the ship on III and I think most fans will agree that this one is on par with their self-titled debut.
III features the technical precision that we’ve come to expect from ‘The Dogs.’ They didn’t get stingy on the melody and the incredible hooks and trademark harmonies. They’ve injected some new flavors as heard on the first single “Xanadu” which is a power pop tune that slips in some subtle jazz influences, and tunes like “Mad World” brings out some blues, and R&B influences. If I were tp select some songs as the standouts from the album, they would be “Rise” and “Lorelei.” Kotzen takes both tunes to the next level with his powerhouse vocals and his blazing fretwork. As a collective unit, these ‘three amigos’ have created another stellar recording. We knew they probably would and now, we know they definitely did. III is worthy of all the accolades that it will receive in 2023 and the years to come.
02. Mad World
06. The Vengeance
10. The Red Wine
Richie Kotzen – guitar, lead vocals
Billy Sheehan – bass, background vocals
Mike Portnoy – drums, percussion, background vocals
Produced by Richie Kotzen, Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan
Mixed by Jay Ruston
Reviewed by Ruben Mosqueda for Sleaze Roxx, January 2023
The Winery Dogs‘ “Xanadu” video:
The Winery Dogs‘ “Mad World” video: