The Winery Dogs featuring three renowned musicians in Richie Kotzen (solo, Mr. Big, Poison), Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth, Mr. Big, Niacin) and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Adrenaline Mob, Avenged Sevenfold, Flying Colors, Neil Morse Band, Twisted Sister) made their first tour stop to Nashville at The Wildhorse Saloon. Now to be honest, these three musicians are probably my 3 favorite musicians respective to their instruments so I had very high hopes going into this show. Their first CD was in my Top 2 for 2013 and the latest CD Hot Streak just dropped two weeks ago and is as amazing as their first if not better.
The Winery Dogs opened with their new single “Oblivion” which is an up-tempo burner that has a great catchy chorus and great double lines featuring Richie and Billy in unison. The song is a testament to great writing and playing as well as balanced enough to be radio worthy and capturing the ear of even the most casual listener.
The Winery Dogs – “Oblivion” Nashville, TN 10/20/15 – The Wildhorse Saloon
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The band played songs from both of their releases have a great blend of tempos even featuring Richie going solo with an acoustic on the ballad “Fire” from their new CD “Hot Streak.” Richie also played a few songs on the electric piano showing even more of his immense musical talent playing keyboards. Not to mention that Richie has one most distinctive and is a premier voice in the rock/soul music industry. He is given nowhere near the credit he deserves as a vocalist and it’s a shame. There are few that sing with the emotion that he does and he has soul oozing out his poors.
Things that really stand out about this band live are this. They sound absolutely huge for being a three piece band. Each member completely knows how to fill space and make it seems like there is much more there than just three instruments. All three sing, so there are strong background vocals making the sound very full and melodic. It’s hard enough to sing and play as it is let alone sing and play like these three do. There should be a special award for this feat alone. The Winery Dogs are virtuosos of their instruments (they hate this term) and I am not just talking technically. Yes, each member is world renown for their skills as musicians but, they are also amazing songwriters and know when and how to use chops. It’s never for just speed for the sake of speed. They are tools in creating a certain ambiance or effect for the music. Everything has its place and is perfectly in place. It’s creative, catchy and most importantly always melodic. Many technical players never achieve any of this. The Winery Dogs are masters at it. The Winery Dogs fuse rock, blues, jazz and funk seamlessly and effortlessly. It’s the perfect amalgamation and it works on every level.
The Winery Dogs are hands down, the best rock band in the world. When you consider what they bring to table as musicians, songwriters, experience and creativity, no one can touch them. They are one of the few acts that are actually better live and their CD’s are beyond compare so that is saying something. They are best of what a rock band should be and also what they should not be. While rock is about breaking rules, The Winery Dogs not only break them, they shatter them and put the pieces back together for a more amazing project and they do it with the ultimate humility.
The Winery Dogs – “Empire” Nashville, TN 10/20/15 The Wildhorse Saloon
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There is no better show, no better ticket purchase. There is zero reason to go and pay $150 for a band when you can see this one for $25 and see three of the best, most accomplished musicians do what they do best, and do it better than everyone else period.
This was without a doubt the best live show I have ever seen with the classiest, most amazing musicians on the scene. Do not miss The Winery Dogs. You will most certainly miss the best of the best doing incredible things that deserve your attention.
The Opening band of the night was Kicking Harold was another 3-piece out of California. A solid four on the floor rock band with a big sound and decent groovy songs. The motor car theme of the band is certainly original and the musicians seem capable. The bass player Julia Lage has done work on some or Richie Kotzen’s recent work and was some BGV’s on the new Winery Dogs CD. A good band worth checking out if you are looking for new solid rock music. www.kickingharold.com
For more about The Winery Dogs visit: www.thewinerydogs.com