The Winery Dogs’ Debut A Super Record From A True Supergroup

Courtesy:  Loud & Proud Records

Courtesy: Loud & Proud Records

2013 has been quite a year for new rock records.  The list of new records vying to make critics’ lists of the year’s best is already cluttered.  And the year’s not even out yet.  That list already includes releases from the likes of:  Pop Evil, Queensryche, Buckcherry, Filter and Joe Satriani just to name a handful of releases.  Now with the release of its self-titled release, rock trio The Winery Dogs has added its name to that already massively cluttered landscape.  The band—Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, Adrenaline Mob), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big), and Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison)—instantly draws comparisons to Chickenfoot from early on with its brand of rock.  If one were to listen to this and not know it was another band, one would instantly think one was listening to the latter of the two.  Even vocalist Richie Kotzen sounds at times like Chickenfoot front man Sammy Hagar.  At others, he sounds like Soundgarden/former Audioslave front man Chris Cornell.  The similarity in the singers’ voices is eerie.

The band’s new self-titled album is a solid mix of sounds, opening with a trio of heavier, energy-laden songs in: ‘Elevate’, ‘Desire’ and ‘We Are One.’  From there, things slow down a little bit in ‘I’m No Angel’ ‘The Other Side’ and ‘You Saved Me.’  What’s interesting here is that while this trio of songs is a little more subdued, there is still a certain controlled energy throughout all three.  The guitar solos in ‘We Are One’ along with Portnoy’s expert drumming in this song is just one of so many of the album’s highlights.  ‘You Saved Me’ is impressive not just because of its musical content, but also for its uplifting lyrical content.  Kotzen sings, “You saved me in my darkest hour/You stood by me and stayed/You gave me all my strength and power/And when sunshine turned to grey/In my darkest hour/You stood by me and stayed/You stood with me/My guiding angel.”  This could be interpreted in a religious sense.  It could just as easily be considered more in the sense of a relationship.  Regardless of which angle one takes here, the ballad with its moving music and equally uplifting lyrics is sure to impress any listener. 

‘You Saved Me’ is a fitting midpoint for The Winery Dogs’ debut record.  That is because it is after this point that things pick back up beginning with what is one of the best of the best from this record in ‘Not Hopeless.’  This song is a standout thanks to the contradiction of the heavier, slower sludge rock style verses to the more standard rock style choruses.  Kotzen shows throughout both sections (and his solos) that he can easily hold his own alongside fellow guitar great Zakk Wylde here.  And if this isn’t enough to get listeners excited, the album’s next track, ‘One More Time’ definitely will.  Bass virtuoso Billy Sheehan gets his chance to shine in this up-tempo prog rock piece alongside Portnoy.  Sheehan gets his own solo alongside Portnoy in the song’s bridge.  Kotzen eventually joins in to add in his own spice, too.  By the time the song ends, it will have left listeners in awe of the trio’s talent once more.  Forget the lyrics.  This song is entirely about the talent of these three musicians.  And it definitely doesn’t disappoint.

After the high energy of ‘One More Time’ and ‘Not Hopeless’, the band slows things down only momentarily in ‘Damaged’ and ‘Six Feet Deeper.’  This gives listeners just enough time to catch their collective breath before diving back in the deep end again on the album’s final trio of songs.  ‘Time Machine’, ‘The Dying’, and ‘Regret’ finish off the album.  And they do so in expert form.  The energy in these three songs is just enough to keep listeners engaged right to the final notes without skipping even one song.  Suffice it to say that listeners that are familiar with the musicianship of Sheehan, Portnoy and Kotzen will be just as impressed with this record as anything else that the trio has recorded throughout its career.  For those that are new to the trio’s talents, these final three songs are certain to seal the deal and make new fans of three of the most talented individuals in the music industry today. 

Winery Dogs’ debut record is slated to be released Tuesday, July 23rd via Loud & Proud Records.  Fans can pre-order it now via the Loud & Proud Records website at http://loudandproudrecords.com/releases/winery-dogs/.  In the meantime, fans can check out the band’s new album live on its tour.  It will be touring through Japan and South America during the month of July before coming back to the United States on August 3rd.  Fans can get a full list of the band’s tour dates online at http://www.facebook.com/TheWineryDogs.  Fans can also “Like” the Winery Dogs’ Facebook page for all of the latest news and updates from the band.

To keep up with all of the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com

Performance Times Released For Annual Festival

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Organizers of the annual “Welcome To Rockville” Festival presented by Monster Energy have released more information on this year’s festival.  2013 is the festival’s third year being held.  Performance times for bands on each stage have officially been released.  The “Monster Energy Main Stage East” opens with a performance by Pop Evil at 12:40pm.  Pop Evil will be followed by All That Remains, Halestorm, Papa Roach, Stone Sour, and headliners Alice in Chains.  Alice in Chains takes the “Monster Energy Main Stage East” at 9:45pm.  The “Monster Energy Main Stage West” is just one of the many stages from which audiences have to choose during the festival.  A full listing of bands and performance times is available below.

Saturday, April 27

Monster Energy Main Stage East

12:40 PM         Pop Evil

2:05 PM           All That Remains

3:35 PM           Halestorm

5:25 PM           Papa Roach

7:25 PM           Stone Sour

9:45 PM           Alice In Chains

 

Monster Energy Main Stage West

12:05 PM         Young Guns

1:20 PM           In This Moment

2:50 PM           Asking Alexandria

4:30 PM           Bullet For My Valentine

6:20 PM           Three Days Grace

8:30 PM           Limp Bizkit

 

Emerging Artist Stage

Noon                Rockville Rumble Winner

1:00 PM           Hell Or Highwater

2:10 PM           Gemini Syndrome

3:20 PM           Whitechapel

4:45 PM           Otherwise

6:20 PM           Escape The Fate

 

Jax Live Stage

11:30 AM         Rockville Rumble Winner

12:30 PM         Edens Fill       

1:40 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

2:50 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

4:05 PM           Stars In Stereo

5:35 PM           MonstrO

7:25 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

 

Sunday, April 28

Monster Energy Main Stage East

11:45 AM         Red

12:55 PM         Saving Abel

2:30 PM           Filter

4:10 PM           Skillet

6:05 PM           3 Doors Down

8:35 PM           Lynyrd Skynyrd

 

Monster Energy Main Stage West

11:15 AM         Farewell 2 Fear

12:20 PM         Nonpoint

1:40 PM           Steel Panther

3:20 PM           Hollywood Undead

5:05 PM           Buckcherry

7:15 PM           Shinedown

 

Emerging Artist Stage

11:20 AM         Nebraska Bricks

12:20 PM         Soulswitch

1:25 PM           Girl On Fire

2:35 PM           Saliva

3:45 PM           Motionless In White

5:10 PM           Device

6:50 PM           Nothing More

 

Jax Live Stage

11:50 AM         (N)ception

12:55 PM         The Apprehended

2:05 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

3:15 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

4:40 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

6:15 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

 

The whole party will be preceded by the “Rockville Downtown Experience presented by Corona Light” pre-party on Friday, April 26th.  Two post-show parties will be held Saturday, April 27th.  Admission to these parties is FREE.  Friday’s show will feature Saliva, Evergreen Terrace, and Victr as entertainment.  The bands will perform live at the Underbelly in Jacksonville, FL.  More information on this party is available online at http://www.jaxunderbelly.com.  Saturday’s after-parties will feature performances by DJ Monk and Robert Goodman at 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville, FL (http://www.facebook.com/1904MusicHall, http://www.1904MusicHall.com) and Icey at the Underbelly.

Fans that attend the festival will have plenty of opportunities to get their CDs, shirts, and more signed by their favorite band(s) at the f.y.e. tent and other onsite locations.  There will also be interactive experiences such as a gaming area and Dave’s Crazy Music Experience.  This experience lets fans find out for themselves what it’s like to make music in a studio environment.  It includes actual guitars, drums, basses, and all the gear used by today’s top acts.

Tickets are still available for this year’s festival.  Prices are listed below.

Single Day General Admission – $59.50 plus fees

Single Day VIP – $134.50 plus fees
2-Day General Admission – $107 plus fees
2-Day VIP – $219 plus fees
2-Day Party Pack (4 weekend tickets) – $357 plus fees

Along with the listed ticket prices, “no service fee tickets” are available at specific Metro PCS locations.  More information on this is available online at http://www.welcometorockvillefestival.com/tickets.html.  A limited number of VIP tickets and hotel packages are still available.  They can be purchased online at http://www.WelcomeToRockvilleFestival.com.  VIP tickets include entrance to all concerts through a VIP entrance, access to VIP lounge featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service, viewing of the Monster Main Stage (both seated and standing areas), a seated area with shade for dining, private bathrooms and laminated VIP guest pass.    

More information on the “Welcome to Rockville” Festival is available online at http://www.WelcomeToRockvilleFestival.com, http://www.facebook.com/welcometorockville, and on Twitter at @RockvilleFest.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Buckcherry’s New LP One Of 2013’s Best Rock Records

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Buckcherry is back.  And it’s back with a vengeance.  This L.A.-based band’s sixth full length studio release is one of the best rock records of 2013.  It is everything that audiences have come to expect from the band right from the get-go.  The album’s opener and lead single, ‘Gluttony’ is a balls-to-the-wall, take no prisoners rock and roll anthem that grabs listeners and refuses to let go until the song’s last second.  Front man Josh Todd’s vocals are as strong as ever on this song as he delves into the first of the seven deadly sins on which the semi-conceptual album is based.  The thing is that it’s a rather rebellious song.  He sings defiantly to the critics who look down their noses at the song’s main character for his excesses, “You say I eat too much/You say I smoke too much/So what am I supposed to do?”  This is just one line but it serves as a prime example of Todd’s character musically flipping the bird to said critics.  This is definitely one of those songs to which so many audiences can relate.  So it makes for an excellent re-introduction to the band’s long-time fans and first impression for those who are new to the band’s music.

The band barely lets up once ‘Gluttony’ ends.  From there, it launches immediately into the equally hard rocking, ‘Wrath.’  With its driving bass line, scathing guitars and equally striking lyrics, ‘Wrath’ is bound to be another instant hit with fans.  Todd sings right from the start, “Hey man/Do you wanna get a fist so hard/Do you wanna see who’s in charge/I’m gonna show you your future/Hey man/You think you’re strong enough/To play this game/It’s gonna burn/Like acid rain/You’re gonna need some sutures.”  Much like ‘Gluttony’ this song is also bound to be a fan favorite both on the album and at the band’s live shows.

The softest that Buckcherry gets on this album comes in its closer, ‘Dreamin’ of You.’  The full-on acoustic song is quite the contradiction to the nonstop energy exuded by the album’s other material.  On a deeper level though, it’s a fitting closer.  After so much ferocity aimed at the world (including past loves), here is a character who is seems to be pleading to one of those lost loves.  He is singing, “Dreamin’ of your face/You’re all mine/Transcending through this/Space and time/I have so much faith/It’s our time/There’s so much out there/To embrace/You can never turn away/When you fly so high/But you might as well stay/There’s no limit to the sky/But you’re always tellin’ me/You’re not afraid of change/It’s our time to shine/Dreamin’ of you/Dreamin’ of you/Dreamin’ of you/Dreamin’ of  you.”  This ballad style-song gently lowers listeners onto another musical shore by its end after the rollercoaster ride on which they were taken through the course of the album’s other tracks.  By the time the song’s final notes fade away, audiences know that they have just experienced something special; not just with this single song, but from the album as a whole.  Fans can hear songs from Confessions both in standard edition and deluxe edition with bonus DVD next Tuesday, February 19th.  And audiences will get to hear some of the songs from the new album this weekend as the band performs tonight in Nashville, TN and then at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, SC tomorrow night.

Fans can order the band’s new CD and get tickets to the band’s shows online through its website, http://www.buckcherry.com.  Fans can also keep up with all the latest updates and more from the band online at the band’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/buckcherry.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Carolina Rebellion Festival Expands In Its Third Year

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

The Carolina Rebellion Festival is coming back this Spring.  The annual festival returns to the Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday and Sunday may 4th and 5th.  The Charlotte Motor Speedway is in Concord, just outside of Charlotte.  Now in its third year, this year’s festival marks the first time that it will fill a full weekend.  There will be three stages for this year’s festival:  The Monster Energy ‘Carolina Stage, the Monster Energy ‘Rebellion Stage, and the Jagermeister Stage.  This year’s band lineup is going to be big one.  It’s all set to kick off with performance on Saturday by:  Alice in Chains, Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Bullet for my Valentine, Halestorm, Asking Alexandria, Sick Puppies, In This Moment, Device (with David Draiman), Young Guns, Otherwise, Aranda, Tracer, and Monstro.

Things won’t let up much on Sunday, May 5th.  The current lineup slated for the festival’s second day includes:  Soundgarden, Rise Against, Bush, 3 Doors Down, Buckcherry, Volbeat, Hollywood Undead, All That Remains, Steel Panther, Pop Evil, Escape The Fate, Nonpoint, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red Line Chemistry, Heaven’s Basement, and American Fangs.

Full weekend general admission tickets and single day general admission tickets for the Carolina Rebellion Festival go on sale Friday, February 8th at 10amEST.  Full weekend tickets start at $99/person plus fees.  Single day admission tickets start at $59.50 plus fees.  Parking cost is included with all tickets.  For more information on tickets and the festival, audiences can go online to http://www.CarolinaRebellion.com and http://www.facebook.com/CRebellion.  Anyone that signs up for the Carolina Rebellion Newsletter can pre-order full weekend tickets for a discounted price of $89 plus fees.  This applies only during the pre-sale period, which runs from Wednesday February 6th to Thursday, February 7th.

Fans can also go online to http://www.CarolinaRebellion to get information on camping, hotel and VIP packages as well as military discounts, which will also be available for all active duty military personnel.

To get the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Weekend band lineup announced for Rock Vegas Festival

Concert organizers with the Rock Vegas Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada have officially announced the band lineup for the upcoming weekend long September Festival. 

On Friday, september 28th, Shinedown will be performing.  They’ll be joined by:  Godsmack, Staind, Papa Roach, P.O.D., Adelitas Way, Deuce, and Redlight King. 

Rob zombie and Marilyn Manson will take to the stage Saturday, September 29th.  They’ll be joined throughout the day by:  Stone Sour, Buckcherry, All That Remains, Art of Dying, New Medicine, and Otherwise. 

Tickets are now onl sale for the Rock Vegas Festival.  They are as affordable as $39 (plus fees.  VIP packagaes are also available.  Concert goers can get discount hotel rates through Mandalay Bay, Luxor and Excalibur.  To get tickets, VIP packages, and hotel reservations, go online to http://www.RockVegasFest.com

Anyone interested in coming to Rock Vegas Fest is being offered a very special opportunity courtesy of the festival and its sponsor, Rockstar Energy Drink.  Rockstar Energy Drink and Rock Vegas are offering two lucky concert goers a trip for two with roundtrip airfare fully covered.  The two lucky guests will also get free hotel accomodations, airport transfers, $500 spending money, and VIP treatment at the festival.  To enter for this contest, go online to http://www.rockvegasfest.com/flyaway.  The contest is currently open, and entries will be accepted until August 26th. 

For more information on the Rock Vegas Fest, go online to http://www.RockVegasFest.com, http://www.facebook.com/RockVegasFest, http://twitter.com/RockVegasFest, http://www.youtube.com/RockVegasFest, and on Instagram at Instagram@RockVegasFest.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Art of Dying a-Live and kicking this Summer

Warner recording artists, The Art of Dying, has officially hit the road for its Summer tour.  the band will be playing alongside the likes of:  Shinedown, Buckerry, Chevelle and a number of others.  The band’s SUmmer tour will take it throughout the southeast, midwest and east coast between May and July.  The band will be in Huntsville, AL tonight at the Von Braun Center alongside Chevelle.  Fans in North Carolina looking for a reason to getaway this weekend can see The Art of Dying live in Virginia Beach at the WNOR Lunatic Luau Friday night.

For a full list of tour dates, fans can check out the band online at http://www.artofdyingmusic.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/artofdying, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/artofdying.

The band’s current album, “Vices and Virtues” already has three singles hitting rock radio.  Fans can check out the videos for ‘Sorry’ and ‘Die Trying’ now on Youtube at the band’s official Youtube channel, http://www.youtube.com/artofdyingmusic.

Charm City Devils’ “Sins” anything but deadly

It’s about who you know, not what you know.  Who hasn’t heard that old adage?  Well, when a name the likes of Nikki Sixx personally gives his seal of approval, and even asks a band out on tour, odds are that band is not going to say no.  Thus, one of maisntream rock’s next big acts began its career in 2009.  The act in question is Baltimore, MD based Charm City Devils.  The band’s sophomore record, “Sin” will be on store shelves tomorrow.  And it goes without saying that this new record is anything but deadly.  However, it’s a record that’s a perfect fit for mainstream rock radio.

“Sin” opens with a full throttle, no nonsense adrenaline pumper in ‘Spite.’  The band keeps the adrenaline flowing at max speed with the defiant, fist pumper, ‘Unstoppable’ right after that.  ‘Man of Constant Sorrow’ is quite the interesting cover.  It takes the hit song from George Clooney’s hit movie, and gives it a decidedly new vibe.  The band kicks things right back into gear after that cover, with another high adrenaline track in ‘Still Alive.’  ‘Devil is a Woman’ is one of those standard testosterone-fueled rock tracks that no true hard rock record is complete without.  So many audiences can relate to this one.  The vibe from here on out is little different, as the band keeps the energy at its highest until gently depositing listeners on another shore at the album’s end in the ballad, ‘All You’ll Ever Need.’  It’s just enough to leave audiences with a sense of total fulfillment as they catch their breaths.

‘Sins’ is a great record.  Even had Charm City Devils not gotten the nod from Nikki Sixx, “Sins” shows that the band would still have been able to make a name for itself on its own.  But it never hurts to have the backing of such a big name.  Now, with the right support from fans and mainstream rock radio, audiences nationwide may very well be hearing a lot more from this band in the near future.  It’s a great record for fans of bands such as:  Buckcherry, Black Stone Cherry, Brand New Sin, and others of that ilk.  Fans who want to check out the band live will get their chance as the band will be heading out on tour, beginning next Thursday, April 19th in Roanoke, VA.  From there, the band heads to Maryland, before charting a course through the midwest.  The band’s lone west coast date will be May 1st in Spokane, WA.  No dates in North Carolina as of yet.  But fans can keep up to date with all the band’s dates on its facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/charmcitydevils.  Fans can also follow the band on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CharmCityDevils.  The band is currently working on a new official website.  Fans can keep an eye on the progress of that website at http://www.charmcitydevils.