Review by Tosh Davies
Richie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan and the ever present Mike Portnoy make up The Winery Dogs, and their debut album is a funky, groove-laden power house of an album. Their credentials are undisputed having played with, and for, some of the greatest bands in the world. Power Trio, Super Group, or just a plain old coming together of three very talented individuals of their chosen instruments, you decide. For myself it’s another band who help my drive to work go that much faster with one eye on the road and the other on the speedo.
This trio deliver a surprisingly strong album but for me it’s the hypnotising gravel tones of Kotzen that have truly surprised and impressed me. First cut off the album ‘Elevate’ showcases their individual talents and reminds me of a Mr. Big number that may have ended up in the studio vaults. It’s the bluesy ‘I’m No Angel’ that really accentuates the passion and emotion in Kotzen’s voice, his delicate guitar flurries speaking volumes. An album with a degree of variation in pace which caters for many moods, ‘You Saved Me’ is a slow, meandering, bass harmonic-led affair whilst ‘Not Hopeless’ rocks along like a runaway train.
With one of the best rhythm sections in the world of rock you know what to expect, solid & heavy with delicate restraint when required on the slower tracks. Personally I’m a massive fan of the slower bluesy numbers on the album, however the Alice In Chains like riff of ‘Time Machine’ certainly pushes my buttons needing me to crank that knob to eleven! The Winery dogs have certainly come crashing out of the kennels with one of the releases of the year. An album of blues drenched shredding and rock solid rhythms that are sure to impress a wealth of fans. For me, like my fellow Welsh countryman Mr. Tom Jones it’s all about the voice and that’s a passion you simply cannot fake. A rock solid debut that will touch you in places only reserved for that special person in your life.
8.5 out of 10
- We Are One
- I’m No Angel
- The Other Side
- You Saved Me
- Not Hopeless
- One More Time
- Six Feet Deeper
- The Dying
This album is already off the Billboard top 200 in less than 3 weeks sounds like an overhyped forgettable album that will gather dust rather quick.
First heard of Kotzen in the early 90’s when he joined Poison. Saw them live with Kotzen on guitar and my jaw hit the floor. Been a fan ever since. Why on earth, this man is so often ignored by radio stations and the music press is criminal. Good to see a bit of recognition at long last (take note planet rock radio and classic rock magazine)
Richie Kotzen’s been impressing me the last couple of years, and I’ve been impressed by the selection of songs I’ve head off this album so far – but it’s a crap name for a band like this.
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