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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 30 September 2013
This is a very good album, but not quite a 'classic'.
These three virtuoso musicians have put together some killer hard rock here, music that is both powerful yet melodic. The vocals are surprisingly good, and the lyrics are sound. Most of the tracks have excellent choruses, big hooks that stick in my head, so I can't help humming them after playing the album.
However, there's also quite a bit of 'showboating' or 'showing off' in the musicianship department, and I think some restraint should have been shown in this regard. I guess these guys couldn't resist throwing in some serious 'chops' just to remind the listener how clever and accomplished they are. Still, it's their album so why not? These slightly over-the-top moments let the album down a bit in my opinion, although they don't actually detract too much from the main focus of the tunes.
Anyway, it's all good & exciting rock,...turn it up and annoy your neighbourhood!
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on 20 August 2013
This album is fabulous and met all my expectations. Three brilliant pedigree musicians who know how to rock and have produced a stunning debut album. So reminiscent in musical genre to Badlands (only a four piece), rock with a bluesy edge. Stand out musician and surprise for me is Richie Kotzen who vocally and guitar wise delivers in bucket loads. Go buy this album if you like listening to classy rock music. You wont be disappointed.
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The first time I heard this band, I was blown away. The opening songs are great, but the album as an entirety isnt the best ever.
Mike's drumming is good as usual, but a bit too much at times for me. Too much drum shedding at the end of the opening track for example.
Kotzen's voice sounds very much like Chris Cornell's and his guitar playing is jaw dropping.
Billy sheehan is a virtuoso too and does things on a bass that are amazing.
Its the songs that need to be better.
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on 11 January 2014
After this band got recommended to me by a friend and I saw who was in the band I had to check this out. The Winery Dogs are a supergroup of sorts, featuring ex-Dream Theater, among others, drummer Mike Portnoy, Poison/Mr Big guitarist Richie Kotzen and Mr Big bassist Billy Sheehan but this isn't some musicians showing off, The Winery Dogs are a proper rock band and this debut album of bluesy, funky rock demonstrates that. The first two tracks, Elevate and Desire prove that this band can play and also that Richie Kotzen is a fine singer to, bringing to mind Chris Cornell at times. Even slower tracks such as the brilliant The Dying hit the spot to. Not every song is brilliant, maybe, but as debuts go, The Winery Dogs are off to a great start.

My copy is the Japanese version(which I wasn't aware I was receiving) and therefore omits the song Time Machine in favour of bonus song, Criminal. Having checked out the Alice in Chains-ish Time Machine, that's a decent song to but Criminal also fits well into the album. Either way, fans of the likes of Cream, Free, Zeppelin etc should be impressed!
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on 19 August 2013
Ordered this before it was released as I knew it would be brilliant, but it exceeded all my expectations. The best rock album of 2013, and then some. This band is truly greater than the sum of it's parts, and Richie, Billy and Mike are all at the top of their respective fields. Biggest surprise though.......Richie Kotzen's voice, which is amazing and better than many "singers", let alone "guitarists". Best thing is that the album is full of great SONGS, with excellent musicianship, not the other way round. Bloody marvellous :-)
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on 19 October 2013
This album is a total stunner. Stellar rhythm section with Portnoy and Sheehan, shaking the ground for Richie Kotzen, who displays supernatural combined guitar and singing skills. To top it off, the songs are pretty much ALL perfect. This is simply a must have, don t hesitate one second. Compared to the latest boring Dream Theater album, this Portnoy effort is simply a winner for me, I can t help just hitting replay, again and again.
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on 2 January 2014
When David Lee Roth left VH,many people thought he would struggle to maintain that level of success, as a solo artist."How can you follow Eddie Van Halen and co?" Well,with the astonishing talents of Messrs Vai,Sheehan and Bissonette,he put together a band that were head and shoulders above the competition(including his old band members)and produced the outstanding "Eat 'em and Smile."
Mike Portnoy finds himself in a similar position to DLR. Having left prog rock giants DT,he put together this power trio with Billy Sheehan(bass player extraordinaire)and the ridiculously gifted guitar maestro Richie Kotzen, who also brings his incredible vocal talents to this project. Petrucci,Myung and LaBrie are all superb musicians, but these guys take it to another level altogether.
This album,as you would expect,is full of jaw dropping solos and thunderous bass lines often played in unison,but that is only part of its appeal. All of this incredible musicianship is contained within quality songs with memorable hooks.
Anyone who has not been exposed to Richie's soulful voice,is in for a treat.
In closing,I think I can safely say that Mike Portnoy really landed on his feet when he hooked up with these two guys. Please buy it!
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on 5 February 2014
It's refreshing to see an old rock template such as this coming out of the blue. "The winery dogs" are a relatively direct and highly distillied hard rock supergroup with a solid thirteen length track listing debut. The album starts strongly with the first track "Elevate" and things then pretty much stay that way throughtout. Other standouts include "Desire", "I'm no angel", "Not hopeless", and the admittedly brilliant japanese bonus track "Criminal".

The sound and production is fresh and an organic experience. The members all manage their prospective roles and duties perfectly, and so while the album doesn't really attempt to cut through any new cloth, the debut does come as a formidable statement of intent of-which hails the classic rock sound from days gone by from the likes of Deep Purple & Rainbow, etc. The debut, given the talent and what we know about:- Kotzen, Sheehan & Portnoy, (All towering figures in their own right), the record ultimately hits the spot and then some.

More please!.
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on 2 June 2015
Terrific album. Great mixture of Hard Rock and commercialism. 3 great musicians. Great bass from Billy Sheehan, guitars and vocals from Ritchie Kotzen and of course, the ever reliable, energizing and supremely versatile drumming from Mike Portnoy...... Dream Theatre should have taken a short break as Mike wanted, it's their loss. I hope the 3 guys get together again, but not too often so they can keep it fresh.
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on 31 May 2013
This version (for which the review is written) is Japanese release in May which is always exceedingly expensive and delivery takes longer. The UK release date is July that is too long to go. Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith gave us Chickenfoot. Now Billy Sheehan, Mark Portnoy and Richie Kotzen, the power trio The Winery Dogs.

The official release of the videos 'Elevate', 'Desire' and 'I'm No Angel' plus the audio 'We Are One' assured it's gonna be the best album, the best supergroup and the most wanted show of the year. The rest of the songs must be equally the best.

Here is the track listing -
1 Elevate
2 Desire
3 We Are One
4 I'm No Angel
5 The Other Side
6 You Saved Me
7 Not Hopeless
8 One More Time
9 Damaged
10 Six Feet Deeper
11 Criminal
12 The Dying
13 Regret

Limited Edition/Japanese Bonus DVD -
1 Elevate
2 Desire
3 I'm No Angel

Mike Portnoy described the project as mixing 70's classic rock (Zeppelin, Hendrix, Grand Funk) with modern ones (Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Black Crowes). Elevate as we know already sounds like Black Dog. Desire and We Are One pleased my ears like Mr. Big. I'm No Angel is a beautiful bluesy ballad.

Richie's voice is amazing that I could not believe it was him when I heard his solo albums the first time years ago. His bluesy voice in perfect pitch and pace playing guitar riffs and rhythm at the same time. Why in God's name is he underrated (like another great guitar player Greg Howe) and known to many as only Poison's guitarist who replaced CC Deville and Paul Gilbert in Mr. Big? The Winery Dogs will expose him. Billy Sheehan (Eddie Van Halen of the bass) and Mike Portnoy (the backbone of the majestic Dream Theater) need no introduction here.

The three amigos wanted dead or alive. I have pre-ordered my copy The Winery Dogs and my ticket for O2 Islington in September. Have you?
Rock 'N' Roll \,,/,
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