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66 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get drunk with these dogs!
The Winery Dogs have made a really killer debut album that combines their awesome musical virtuosity with some intense rock grooves and powerful vocals. The band is a rock super group featuring guitar extraordinaire Richie Kotzen (solo and ex Mr Big), rock bass legend Billy Sheehan (Mr Big, Steve Vai), and power house drummer Mike Portnoy (ex Dream Theater). This project...
Published 15 months ago by Michael

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Winery Dogs
There is potential with this band but this album does not do it for me. Listenable but lacks in ingenuity.
Published 2 months ago by ASHWIN SINGH


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66 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get drunk with these dogs!, June 13, 2013
By 
This review is from: Winery Dogs (Audio CD)
The Winery Dogs have made a really killer debut album that combines their awesome musical virtuosity with some intense rock grooves and powerful vocals. The band is a rock super group featuring guitar extraordinaire Richie Kotzen (solo and ex Mr Big), rock bass legend Billy Sheehan (Mr Big, Steve Vai), and power house drummer Mike Portnoy (ex Dream Theater). This project originally planned to have the immense talents of guitar player John Sykes but after that idea fell through this current lineup was settled on and they hit the studio to get the job done. The sound of the album is very much in a classic rock vein with lots of excellent solos and strong vocals from Kotzen who gives a Chris Cornell-like performance in both tone and style on these awesome tracks. The album sounds huge and is engineered well like most projects that Mike Portnoy is involved with. Highlights include the hard rocking opener "Elevate", the brilliant groove of "We Are One" that cracks into a massive chorus hook, the melodic ballad "You Saved Me", and the strong bonus track "Criminal" available on the Japanese import version. The Winery Dogs consistently show their amazing ability to shred while writing lots of big riffs and memorable choruses that rival the best in this style of music. This is definitely one of the strongest albums of the year and hopefully leads to an exciting tour. The Winery Dogs are highly recommended to fans of quality rock in the style of Mr Big and might also impress fans of bands such as Led Zeppelin, Cream, Lenny Kravitz, and Soundgarden.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars supergroups don't always produce great results but this one does, July 25, 2013
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This review is from: The Winery Dogs (Audio CD)
Fantastic line up's or the term supergroups don't always produce great results but this one does. With Guitarist Richie Kotzen, Bassist Billy Sheehan and Drummer Mike Portnoy make one of the best 3 piece groups i have heard since Cream. They come right out with massive power but they are textured & melodic. This might be the first time that Richie Kotzen really get's to show what he can do as a guitar player & as far as his singing my first thought was wow he sounds a bit like Chris Cornell in some spots. With Billy Sheehan You know you have a monster no matter what he is on it's going to have monster grooves & great change up's. Now add Mike Portnoy & you have a drummer that can handle there speed & crazy change up's but still be powerful & beat the drums as hard as John Bonham.End result is you have a album with well thought out change up's,crushing monster grooves that has ton's of texture & melodic chorus lines & very original music.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, June 8, 2013
This review is from: Winery Dogs (Audio CD)
I am very biased. I have been a Ritchie Kotzen fan for 20 years. He had a stint with Mr. Big where he played with Sheehan as well after Paul Gilbert departed, but this is much better than that. It has big hooks and phenominal chops. There are the unison tapping licks that he and Billy do together ala Addicted to that Rush, but they aren't cheesy. I hope that this trio takes off. Most of Portnoy's side projects are good, but I don't think that they ever take off (perhaps Adrenalin mob is an exception). While you wait for this to come out in America (July, I think), check out his last deal that he did with Steve Morse. It was fantastic. I don't think anyone bought it though.

There are 3 videos out of songs from this CD already on YouTube. Check them out. That will get you by until the release date.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These guys were born to make music together, July 27, 2013
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This review is from: The Winery Dogs (Audio CD)
My initial interest in The Winery Dogs was due to Mike Portnoy's involvement. Ever since I first heard him on Neal Morse's post-Spock's Beard solo albums, he's become one of my favorite drummers, and I've been slowly trying to acquire his complete discography (an incredibly daunting task). I was well aware of Billy Sheehan's reputation as a bass player, as well, but Richie Kotzen was a complete blank slate to me. I'd heard his name, but was unfamiliar with his work. Imagine my surprise when, upon my first listen (the band's "Elevate" single on YouTube), it wasn't Portnoy that blew me away, but Kotzen.

This is not to take anything away from Portnoy or Sheehan. Portnoy's a monster on the drums, and I don't think I've ever heard a bad performance from him. Whether it's the prog of Neal Morse or Transatlantic, the prog-metal of Dream Theater, the hard rock of Adrenaline Mob, or the pop/rock of Flying Colors, he slides effortlessly from genre to genre and always seems to know exactly what to bring to each song. This album is no exception.

Sheehan, as I've learned, is a "lead bass player." To be honest, I had no idea what that meant until I listened to the single I mentioned previously. I'm not that familiar with Mr. Big, but I'd always imagined them as being more of a pop/rock band. Continuing in the same vein as the single, Sheehan is a madman on the bass, sometimes mimicking the melodies from Kotzen's guitar, sometimes being in lockstep with Portnoy's drumming, and sometimes just doing his own bizarre thing. He never lets up. This might sound like it would be distracting, but it's not. Like Portnoy, he doesn't do anything that detracts from the song itself. Needless to say, based on his performance here, I may need to check out Mr. Big's discography and see what I've been missing.

As for Kotzen, I had no idea what to expect. All mentions of him I'd come across in various articles or reviews referred to his guitar playing, but there he was in the "Elevate" video performing lead vocals as well, sounding a little like Chris Cornell at times but sounding mostly like a guy with a great voice that is completely comfortable with his talents on vocals and guitar and doesn't feel like he's got anything to prove. Considering his bandmates here, that's pretty amazing. It's not cockiness but assuredness, and it brings a certain level of laid-back calm to the surface of these songs that have so much going on instrumentally. It sounds like these guys were born to make music together.

After obtaining a pre-release copy for purposes of this review, I'm pleased to say that the pre-order I placed here on Amazon after hearing "Elevate" stands. I'm giving these guys my money. This entire album is full of glorious goodness. There are a few ballads, some mid-tempo stuff, and several flat-out rockers. And they're all brilliant. Although the songs sometimes sounds like a combination of '70s hard rock and '90s grunge, the overall sound is both modern and timeless.

In short, this is fantastic rock and roll. There's nothing trendy, hipsterish, or pretentious on here, just three insanely talented guys that love rock music. A lot of bands make the claim of getting back to the basics, but few of them do it as well as The Winery Dogs.

I originally posted this review on spacecityrock.com.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great trio!, July 27, 2013
By 
Chuck (Huntsville, AL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Winery Dogs (MP3 Music)
Straight up rock and roll so don't be expecting the prog you're used to getting from Portnoy. Songs are well-written and each musician is blended nicely in the mix. A must buy!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!!, July 25, 2013
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This review is from: The Winery Dogs (Audio CD)
One of the best cds to come out in a LONG time! I expected a technically impressive performance from each of the guys, but was blown away by the quality of the songs and how catchy they are. And Richie's voice sounds incredible and at times sounds like one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time, Chris Cornell. There's no way someone can buy this and be disappointed. It's got incredible chops, great vocals and catchy songs. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a cd this much after just one listen. It's been playing non-stop since.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars F $#&ing Awesome, July 27, 2013
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This review is from: The Winery Dogs (MP3 Music)
This album is truly a benchmark for each member of the band. Classic soulful Rock N Roll loaded with juicy bits of solo talent within each song. Billy Sheehan expertly drives each track with plenty of trademark solo highlights. Mike Portnoy- see previous sentence. Richie Kotzen shines at the front of the band. Together, this trio has produced a record that (hopefully) will finally earn them the mainstream recognition they deserve as the superhuman writers and players that they are.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, July 23, 2013
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This review is from: The Winery Dogs (Audio CD)
Very nice - bluesy, heavy-edge tunes, great singing, and enough virtuosity to keep it interesting. Great to see these three together being a long-time fan of each individually.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite of 2013, April 17, 2014
This review is from: The Winery Dogs (Audio CD)
What can you say? This is a great album, in a classic rock style. Vocals were surprising (in a good way), with a similarity to Chris Cornell. Almost has a feel like the Temple of The Dog album from years ago.

My favorite song right from the beginning was "The Dying". The vocals drew me in on that one. Nice melodies. And the backing vocals add some variety.

Second song to really catch me was "Time Machine". Great song. Great drumming as the song speeds up! Another with nice backing vocals.

Third song that became a favorite was "Damaged".

Anyway, all the songs are really good, and you'll find new favorites the more you listen. Not a dog on this album!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, April 11, 2014
By 
Lisa Barbieri (north bellmore, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Winery Dogs (Audio CD)
I've never bought a new album and instantly loved every song on it. This is powerful stuff and it will draw you in immediately. Brilliant!
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The Winery Dogs
The Winery Dogs by Winery Dogs (Audio CD - 2013)
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