News / Arts & Entertainment

With The Winery Dogs Veteran Rockers Create All-Star Trio

The Winery Dogs
The Winery Dogs
Katherine Cole
Three veteran rockers have come together to create an all-star trio.
 
The names are familiar: drummer Mike Portnoy co-founded and spent 25 years with Dream Threatre, while recently playing with Adrenaline Mob. Bassist Billy Sheehan and singer-guitarist Richie Kotzen were together in Mr. Big. Together, the three call themselves The Winery Dogs.

The Winery Dogs’ debut album might not be exactly what Portnoy’s longtime fans expected. Portnoy, after all, earned his way into the Modern Drummer Magazine Hall of Fame performing progressive rock and heavy metal. He says The Winery Dogs is something different - music inspired by the groups they all grew up listening to.

“Bands like Zeppelin and The Who, The Stones, and The Beatles, Cream, and Hendrix. I mean, I grew up with that stuff," he said. "And, although I’ve been able to pay tribute to it throughout my career with tribute bands and things like that, I’ve never been in an all-original band that was kind of playing classic rock power trio stuff. That’s how I describe this band: just a straight up rock band.”

With The Winery Dogs Veteran Rockers Create All-Star Trio
With The Winery Dogs Veteran Rockers Create All-Star Trioi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Portnoy says most of the songs on The Winery Dogs were collaborative efforts, written with the three band mates together in a room, just bouncing ideas off each other.

“In all cases, the music was the very first element and from there, Richie would start melodies on top of it. Sometimes the final lyrics were there, coming up on the spot, and other times he would take the melodies and write lyrics later," he said. "There were a couple of examples of Richie having something and bringing it in. In those cases, like “Damaged” and “Regret” we just left them. Because in those two particular cases, the songs were great as they were.”

x
Clearly, not every song on The Winery Dogs is loud and full of feedback. Though each member is known for playing a distinctive style in previous groups, they step outside those boxes here. Bassist Billy Sheehan has gone in many directions in a career that spans over 30 years. Here, he anchors the band with aggressive, classic-rock bass-lines.  Singer-guitarist Richie Kotzen grew up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a city known for “Philly soul” music. He says that local sound influences the way he sings.

Portnoy is thrilled to be working with them both.

"Billy Sheehan is my favorite bass player on earth and he has been for almost 30 years now. So to work with him and make music with him for me is an honor," he said. "And Richie is someone I have the utmost respect for as an artist. I mean, he is just so underappreciated, not only as a guitarist, but as a singer and a writer as well. I think for me, the most exciting aspect of this band is for people to discover Richie that aren’t aware of what a musical genius he is.”
 
The Winery Dogs spent much of July in Japan and South America.  After a few United States shows, they take a break and then spend September touring Europe, followed by an extensive tour of North America. Details, along with photos, videos and more are on their website, TheWineryDogs.com.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

New Orleans-based Water Seed joins Shawna Renee inside the "Soul Lounge" where they introduce listeners to their latest album, a wonderful fusion of jazz, soul and rhythm & blues. The group also explains how the heart of New Orleans influences each of them as musicians and songwriters.