Are you tired of the triple threat power trios yet? Well not to worry because you know what they say, they come in threes and here is the third and final threesome that I feel is worth your time and money.
The Winery Dogs are singer and guitar virtuoso Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr.Big) Bass Extraordinaire Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and drum master Mike Portnoy (Dream Theatre).
Being a fan of both Kotzen and Sheehan's work in their previous bands, and knowing how talented of musicians they are, I was looking forward to hearing this combined effort. Dream Theatre is not on my radar so I didn't know anything about Portnoy, but knew how talented his band was and this album proved such that. Portnoy is an incredible drummer and I became a fan of his after listening to this album.
Now onto the material. The album opens up with a ripping song titled "Elevate." Just in the first 10 seconds of the song you understand the talent that is within the three piece and your attention is grabbed. It is a perfect opener to get the listener warmed up and up to speed of what this band is all about. The song that captured me before I picked up the album was a ballad titled "I'm No Angel" (below). I'm not sure how everyone feels about ballads, but even if you think it could be a cheesy style I suggest giving this one a try. It is incredibly catchy and if your someone who enjoys the story behind songs listen to the lyrics because Kotzen opens up in this song about his relationships. I'm not speaking for Kotzen so I can't say if the song is a true revelation or just a great idea that listeners may relate to, but it's definitely entertaining none the less.
I can sit here and nit pick all the songs on this album, but to save us all some time and not bore you to death I'll just say the entire album is very well written and the production is excellent. It is very catchy and melodic with heavy songs and soft songs, so I would say it's a good mix and there is something on it for everyone.
I know getting yourself to listen to a new album can be a challenge, I've had those moments many times and I force myself to give it a good listening for about a week until I have an honest opinion. This album didn't take long for me to realize how great it really was. To start you off, listen to those 2 songs I mentioned above to hopefully get you hooked, then listen to the first 6 songs which I feel are the best, and then give the last half a shot. This is a must have in any rocker's collection!
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