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The Winery Dogs-Album Cover

 

The Winery Dogs

 

The Winery Dogs

 

Loud & Proud Records

 

Rating: 11 out of 10

 

Release Date: 7/23/13

Yes, you did read that right, 11 out of 10, we broke the scale on this one!  The word triumvirate is often defined as a “rule of three”, in this case it’s “three that rule”.  Guitarist and vocalist Ritchie Kotzen (Mr. Big/Poison), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big), and drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater/Avenged Sevenfold) have long been considered three of the finest at their respective crafts, so it’s no surprise that when their talents collide we are left with nothing less than an Album of the Year contender.

From the opening riff of “Elevate”, you realize that this is going to be one of those albums where one can’t help but “feel” the music.  A blues rooted rocker with a hint of Nugent-meets-Wolfmother, this opening track is just a pre-cursor of what’s to come.  From “Desire” to “The Other Side” to “Regret”, the entire album is riddled with screaming, yet soulful guitar, pulse-pounding drums, killer vocals,  and bass lines that would make Geddy Lee blush!

With such a great collection of musical genius, it’s hard to pick a favorite.  There are, however, some highlights that cannot go unmentioned.  One such highlight is “The Other Side”, which begins with Portnoy’s drums launching into a finger bleeding bass line from Sheehan, climaxing with Kotzen’s guitar solo, at which point he releases inner Eddie Van Halen.  

Kotzen then takes that same style and melds it into “One More Time”.  Yet another reminder that these guys are a force to be reckoned with, this track bears hints of Eric Johnson meets Van Halen’s “Eruption”. On the track “Six Feet Deeper” Portnoy’s drumming channels the spirit of the late, great, John Bonham. “Damaged” and “Not Hopeless” are two more favorites of mine that highlight just how much Kotzen’s voice sounds like that of one of rock’s greatest voices, Chris Cornell.

Perhaps the coolest song on the album is “Time Machine”.  This track has a conceptual feel to it, in that it begins sounding very much like a modern day Alice In Chains tune, and transforms as we travel time, into some good old fashioned 80′s guitar power rock!  Last, but certainly not least, the album culminates with “Regret”; a true blues based rock track that summons the air guitar and serves as a reminder that “blues gave birth to rock ‘n roll”, making our only regret not pressing the “Repeat All” button.

Every album has one or two band members on it that truly stand out, but The Winery Dogs smash that theory to pieces with their debut album.  If you love blues-based power rock, July 23rd should be like Christmas morning for audiophiles everywhere.  Hands down, the best album of 2013!!!

What are you waiting for??? Click here to pre-order The Winery Dogs debut album, and find out when they’ll be coming to your town to blow your mind in person!

CLASSIC ALBUMS: RUSH:



2112 & MOVING PICTURES



Eagle Vision DVD



10 out of 10



Eagle Vision & Eagle Rock Entertainment have put together a series entitled CLASSIC ALBUMS that goes back and looks at the making of some of the greatest albums of all time. With titles such as Metallica: Black Album, Fleetwood Mac: Rumors, Judas Priest: British Steel, Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Iron Maiden: Number Of The Beast, Motorhead: Ace Of Spades, Deep Purple: Machine Head, and on and on… The series takes the band back to the studio, with the producer and engineer occasionally and goes over the recording of the album, how they wrote it, the stories that came from the recording session, and actually takes the album apart track by track and channel by channel. From the great licks, that killer vocal line, the special mixing that makes the song come alive.

You can’t turn on VH-1 without seeing an episode of Classic Albums, and with good reason. Even if you don’t particularly care for the artist or the album, the stories behind how the album came to be will enthrall you. My favorite episodes are DEEP PURPLE: Machine Head, JUDAS PRIEST: British Steel, and MEAT LOAF: Bat Out Of Hell. Not because they are amazing albums (they are), not because they are great legendary bands (they are), but because of the stories that come out about how the album and the songs came to be. From Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water being written about the actual recording of Machine Head and the dismal situation they were in while recording one of rock’s greatest albums of all time. To Judas Priest’s Metal Gods marching sound being a drawer full of silverware being slammed open and shut. To Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman basically selling their souls and beating the odds to get a rock opera released by two unknown and unlikely artists.

RUSH: 2112 and Moving Pictures as albums need no real introduction to even casual music listeners.

With the opening track 2112 taking up half the album alone, the sheer epicness and ballsiness of an unknown band releasing this epic tome of music and having the fortitude and belief in themselves to pull off a magnum opus of this magnitude is to be respected and celebrated. The message of 2112 with nods to Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead actually echoes the band’s ambition for releasing a 20 plus minute song as the opening and title track on an unsuspecting public.

Moving Pictures is simply a greatest hits album of brand new music. Red Barchetta, Limelight, Vital Signs, and YYZ are well known to Rush fans and non fans alike. And of course Tom Sawyer which is probably second only to Stairway To Heaven as the most played song on Classic Rock stations.

The episode and the series isn’t a ‘Behind The Music’ drug and sordid history, it is about how the album came about, how the artist came up with the riff, the lyric, the song, the sound, and finally the impact the album had when it was released.

RUSH: 2112 & Moving Pictures was released September 28th. And can be purchased here. Do yourself a favor, pick it up, throw it in the DVD player and relive the magic of 2112, the hits of Moving Pictures and find out how the band came up with some of the most well known rock and roll songs in the history of music.

The DVD comes with almost an hour of extra material recorded for this episode. From Geddy Lee explaining the Overture of 2112, to Neil‘s (Non) drum solo, there are too many great nuggets to list here. The extras are worth the price of the DVD alone, nevermind the who, how, why of the recording of 2112 and Moving Pictures!

No matter which episode you watch, STEELY DAN: Aja, TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS: Damn The Torpedoes, SEX PISTOLS: Never Mind the Bollocks, or U2: Joshua Tree, you’ll always come away with a great story, an amazing tidbit about how your favorite song came to be, what studio magic was used to make that special sound that transports you to another place and time, and where the artists head was or wasn’t at when they recorded it. So check out the links below, pick up 2112 & Moving Pictures, treat yourself to a few other episodes of Classic Albums, and enjoy! You’ll thank me later.

For more CLASSIC ALBUMS click here.
For more RUSH click here.
To purchase RUSH: 2112 & Moving Pictures Classic Albums click here.