Celebrated rock trio The Winery Dogs catapulted itself quickly into public consciousness with the release of their eponymous debut last year. A supergroup comprised of drummer Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big), and guitarist/singer Richie Kotzen (Poison), they’ve since found international acclaim, as well as an impressively large and dedicated fanbase. Naturally, they’ve also been touring a lot over the last year or so, and on Wednesday, July 30th, they’ll return to one of the Philadelphia area’s most beloved venues, The Keswick Theatre, to wreak plenty more musical havoc.
In our interview last October for Rock Society Magazine, Portnoy described his bandmates as “perfect players,” adding that although he’s normally associated with progressive genres, the hard rock aesthetic of The Winery Dogs isn’t really as drastic a change in direction for him as some may think. He commented: “I basically began as a fan of this kind of music, growing up with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and The Who. That was all before I discovered progressive rock as a teenager, and it was before heavy metal even existed. After leaving Dream Theater, I knew I wanted to branch off into different directions.”
As for the reception of their first full-length effort, he remarked, “It’s been amazing. The reviews have been great, the fan reception has been great, and the gig turnouts have been great. It’s been a positive start all across the board. To me, it feels like it has potential for a real future and to be a full-time band.” Judging by how much their support and popularity has grown since we last spoke, I’d say that his predictions were spot on.
Joining The Winery Dogs at The Keswick Theatre will be Charm City Devils, a quintet from Baltimore whose newest album, 'Sins,' finds them "adding harder, edgier tones to their blues-based roots." In other words, the two bands are guaranteed to complement each other well.
For more information, as well as tickets, check out the official Keswick Theatre website.