The Winery Dogs – III Review

Kotzen kick things off with impunity, as Portnoy and Sheehan comply to the addicting beat with a master-class instrumentation performance. The chorus here is super catchy and stands out...

Released by: Three Dog Music

Release Date: February 3rd, 2023

Genre: Hard Rock

Links: https://linktr.ee/thewinerydogs

 

Line Up:

Richie Kotzen
Mike Portnoy
Billy Sheehan

 

Tracklist:

01. Xanadu
02. Mad World
03. Breakthrough
04. Rise
05. Stars
06. The Vengeance
07. Pharaoh
08. Gaslight
09. Lorelei
10. The Red Wine

 

Times keep slipping by, hard to imagine it’s been 8 years since the last Winery Dogs album. The supergroup came out with their self-titled debut in 2013 to mass critical praise, 2 years later they followed their debut with the sophomore release “Hot Streak”. Again hard to believe it’s been 8 years since then, but the legendary trio stays busy, with Richie Kotzen very busy solo career, and his other side projects, one of note is the guitar duo with Iron Maiden legend Adrian Smith – Smith/Kotzen, among other things he’s involved in, same goes for Portnoy as his multitude of side projects is hard to keep track of, same can be said for Sheehan as he is in high demand for side projects, solo and a multitude of things.

Either way, the new album is here and the question is not whether it’s high musicianship involved, as the 3 musicians’ name is not the only thing that carries water here, is always the infused flavor that each brings to their instrument and somehow merge to form The Winery Dogs sound.

As Mike Portnoy recently told us, it would not be The Winery Dogs without the 3 members being involved. Kotzen is the voice of the band, but his virtuoso guitar playing, alongside his amazing soulful vocals, makes it uncanny to listen to, and similar to the likes of his previous material, his voice is truly impeccable Richie. Sheehan is a monster on bass, you can always count on spiked and supercharged funky/groovy bass lines, as Billy is a master of the instrument, you add the potent drum lines of Portnoy and you have instant chemistry. The process for making music comes together fairly quickly for the guys and makes their natural process of album construction very easy for the trio.

The new album is aptly titled “III” and as the 3 road dogs come together, the question remains will this highly anticipated album deliver?

Without hesitation, the first single comes via “Xanadu”, a super amped-up tune that features all the great traits of each member effortlessly. The next single surfaces via “Mad World”, a more traditional Winery Dogs song if you can say that, the funky riffs of Kotzen kick things off with impunity, as Portnoy and Sheehan comply to the addicting beat with a master-class instrumentation performance. The chorus here is super catchy and stands out as one of the best songs on the album.

The longest-running “Stars” features a more jam session mid-section as the guys improvise here and deliver all the strong points of their instruments with proficient delight. Kotzen once again delivers with his super bluesy/soulful vocal lines here. Things close down with the heavy hitter “The Red Wine”, again more power blast soulful choruses and high potent rhythm and bass delights close the record in style. A good feel tune track that flows like wine.

What else is there to say about The Winery Dog’s newest effort? You know the musicianship is going to be delivered with class and soulful rigor. Perhaps the most surprising thing to me is the length of time between albums, and yet they deliver another enjoyable record. Richie Kotzen has always been one underrated vocalist, yes he’s a great guitar man, but he’s a terrific songwriter and guitar player, and his voice has always been impressive. Both Sheehan and Portnoy as expected, hold the structure together like glue, and as the engine that is The Winery Dogs gets greased up once more, this is no doubt a project that will keep on going on despite the length in between albums. Not many weak moments here to be found at all, the running order of the album works well, and despite the high expectations, the guys deliver a very entertaining record for all their followers to enjoy.

 

Written by: Shadow Editor

Ratings: 9/10

 

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