The Winery Dogs
It would be easy to call The Winery Dogs a supergroup: Vocalist and guitarist Richie Kotzen made his mark with Poison and Mr. Big, bassist Billy Sheehan has been rocking for decades with Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big and others, and drummer Mike Portnoy was the co-founder of progressive metal superstars Dream Theater. But The Winery Dogs are so much more than a supergroup.
Supergroups are usually short-lived entities composed of gifted players that jam out for little while and then quickly record with the hopes of catching lightning in a bottle. Moreover, they're often the sum of their collective parts. That's certainly not the case with The Winery Dogs, a cohesive, well-rounded classic-sounding trio with blazing songs that defy expectation. The group's self-titled debut is filled with straightforward rock and roll inspired by some of their favorite bands, and their music transcends any of the styles they're best known for.
'We all have our own distinct voicings and styles, but we also have a common ground of music we grew up listening to,' explains vocalist and guitarist Richie Kotzen. 'What makes the band so special is that somehow, in our collaboration, none of us lost our identity. We all sound like who we are yet we make music that is fresh and exciting and sounds like a new band. There's a natural chemistry that came together; it's one of those things that's meant to be.'
'I like the fact that everybody comes from a different background, though there are similarities to them,' adds Sheehan. 'We have is a real special bond that wouldn't happen if we were all into exactly the same things. We brought disparate elements together and made them into a unified band.'