Imagine being in a garage rock type of band that came together just because of the love of music and feeling like jamming out to music. Now take three of the world’s elite at their craft and put them in that type of environment where it’s just them, their instruments, their mind for making music, and to create something that has the potential to completely revolutionize the music industry. As of today, The Winery Dogs are releasing “Dog Years: Live In Santiago and Beyond 2013-2016” Live DVD that comes with a new 5 song EP entitled “Dog Years”.
The Winery Dogs are composed of Richie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan(Mr. Big, The Fell), and Mike Portnoy(Neal Morse Band, Sons of Apollo, Flying Colors). They have captivated audiences the world over with their looming stage presence, their absolute mastery and precision of their respective instruments, and their knack of playing off of each other to deliver an incredible stage performance.
If you are looking for pyrotechnics, more show than music, and vivid production, this may not be for you. But if you’re looking for an incredible soundscape that showcases masterful playing, engagement with the audience, and an audiophile’s dream come true, then you have came to the right place. The introduction starts off with a bit of a jam session that includes an audio intro of George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, before Mike Portnoy comes in with guns ablazing on the drums, and Billy Sheehan lays down his thick bass grooves, and Richie throws down on the guitar that only he knows how to lay down, and they kick into the song “Oblivion”. There is nothing fancy about the stage setup, although if you’re a music gearhead, then you might be blown away, just stage lights, a cool The Winery Dogs banner, but the focus is on the music and the precision playing of the band.
From a showman’s standpoint, Mike Portnoy is a showman amongst showmen behind the kit. Couple his world-class drumming with his charismatic personality, he does a masterful job of getting the audience engaged. After “Oblivion”, The Winery Dogs kick into “Captain Love”. What a classic rock gem this song is! The three part harmonies, plus Billy Sheehan’s occasional squeals on the bass, and Richie’s intense soulful croons and his riffs that come from another dimension is a toe-tapper, especially when Billy lets in a bass solo that causes the Santiago, Chile audience to go crazy makes this a wonderful experience.
The Live DVD has something for every audiophile to thoroughly enjoy. It has the bass, guitar, and drum solos that really showcase Richie Kotzen, Mike Portnoy, and Billy Sheehan as world-class musicians at their collective crafts. It also showcases Richie seducing the audience with his captivating croons and his soul in songs such as “Fire”, “Think It Over”, and “The Other Side”. The absolute beauty of this DVD is that cell phone screens are severely lacking, which shows me that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a band like The Winery Dogs to come to town and the audience knew that greatness came to town and wanted to soak in each and every moment that they could with the band. Along with the world-class musicianship, you can tell that the trio has a genuinely good time playing these songs. What is especially appreciative of this performance is that there are no egos in this band. Richie Kotzen, Mike Portnoy, and Billy Sheehan all get their time to shine and showcase their talents and you can tell that there’s a genuine love and respect for one another for their collective crafts, which makes the chemistry of The Winery Dogs as completely undeniable. It is a dream all-star band for classic rock fans and today’s mainstream rock fans that will unite generations for years to come.
Here is the track listing of the Live DVD:
- Captain Love
- We Are One
- Hot Streak
- How Long
- Time Machine
- Think It Over
- Mike Portnoy Drum Solo
- The Other Side
- Billy Sheehan Bass Solo
- Ghost Town
- I’m No Angel
Not only does “Dog Years: Live In Santiago And Beyond 2013-2016” have this wonderful production. It comes with music videos from The Winery Dogs. Here is the list of music videos:
- Time Machine
- I’m No Angel
- Captain Love
- Hot Streak
Dog Years EP Review:
The EP starts off with “Criminal” which is a track that was previously unreleased in the United States, but it was released in Japan off of the 2013 release entitled “Unleashed In Japan”. The song is a definite mix of Soundgarden with progressive and classic rock undertones that really showcases Billy Sheehan’s slick bass grooves, along with a wonderful guitar outro by Richie Kotzen. “The Game” starts off with a blues tinged that has lyrical metaphors about people messing with one another in relationships. The way Richie croons, Mike’s timing in his drums, and Billy’s sexy bass grooves really make this a memorable song. “Solid Ground” is an amazing acoustic song that allows the listener to unpack another layer of The Winery Dogs, while it seems apparent that this song was done as a nod to Mr. Big. “Love Is Alive” really showcases the classic rock elements and I envision David Bowie bowing and applauding The Winery Dogs with their incredible cover of “Moonage Daydream”.
This package also comes with 2 CDs of the live concert in Santiago, demos from the original recording sessions, and a studio “diary” written by Mike Portnoy. It is a must have for any audiophile. The Winery Dogs is a band that comes around once in a generation, they should be now what Led Zeppelin was in the 1970’s. Do NOT miss out on this opportunity. Check out a live video of “Elevate” below.
Here is the track listing to the EP below:
- The Game
- Solid Ground (Gary Wright cover)
- Love Is Alive
- Moonage Daydream(David Bowie cover)
“Elevate” by The Winery Dogs
Find The Winery Dogs at the following locations: