In October 2013 the lineup of Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) on drums/vocals, Billy Sheehan (Mr Big, Steve Vai ) on bass/vocals and Richie Kotzen (Mr Big, Poison) on guitar/vocals debuted a super group of rock’s elite performing an eclectic array of high energy rock coupled with jazz and blues. Already a powerhouse out of the box, the last 8 months have been good to The Winery Dogs showing what a few months on the road can do.
The showman himself, Mike Portnoy, never fails to entertain with his in your face attitude. Portnoy displays both prowess and a unique blend of drumming theater, reminiscent of the great Keith Moon. Even with all his animation, Portnoy knows when to let the other members of the band shine and none other than bassist extraordinaire Billy Sheehan, who along with Portnoy, displays his eclectic bass style with flair and polish. Richie Kotzen, singing most of the songs and playing guitar and keys, comes off as the bands front man. Kotzen’s vocal abilities run the gamut with the ability to sing both high and low notes with fluidity encased in a raw edged blues-rock sound. Additionally, his guitar playing is the best out there and he does it all without a pick. Kotzen’s telecaster, known mostly for blues and country artists, sounds so incredible on these rock tunes, it even makes a diehard Stratocaster fan, such as myself, gaze fondly at the instrument.
Always a great show when The Winery Dogs come to town. The audience appreciated every note of the night and presented the band with a standing ovation and multiple encores. In turn the band high-fived audience members and graciously took their bows for what was a night to remember.
Check out The Winery Dogs and see when they’ll be playing in your town
Mike Portnoy – Drums/Vocals
Billy Sheehan – Bass/Vocals
Richie Kotzen – Guitar/Vocals/Keyboards