Howdytoons’ Latest LP Is A Blast About Creatures From The Past

Courtesy: Howdytoons Productions, Inc.

Family music act Howdytoons is scheduled to release its latest album, Dinosaurs & Monsters Friday through its own label, Howdytoons Productions, Inc.  The band’s fourth album in its ongoing “dinosaur rock” series of releases, the nine-song album is a fun new offering for the entire family.  That is due in part to its featured musical arrangements.  They will be examined shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements makes for its own interest and will be examined a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the record’s presentation.  All things considered they make the album just one more enjoyable addition to this year’s field of family music albums.

Dinosaurs & Monsters, the latest new album from family music act Howdytoons, only runs nine songs deep, but in that spread, it offers plenty for audiences to appreciate, beginning with the album’s musical content.  The musical content comes largely in the form of some hard rocking compositions that are still mostly family friendly.  There is a touch of some ska and reggae to mix things up a bit, too.  The whole thing opens with a Soundgarden-esque composition in ‘Allosuarus.’  That comparison is most evident in the song’s verses.  More specifically, the comparison is to Soundgarden’s hit song, ‘Spoonman.’  At the same time though, the chromatic scale used in the guitar line in the verses is also comparable to Filter’s hit single, ‘Hey Man, Nice Shot.’  ‘Dimetrodon,’ which immediately follows immediately conjures thoughts of works from System of a Down.  ‘Brachiosaurus’ is just as easily comparable to Marilyn Manson’s cover of the Eurhythmics’ single, ‘Sweet Dreams.’  So right here in this first trio of songs, grown-ups get songs that will appeal to them while also introducing young listeners to some fun rocking compositions.  ‘Brontosaurs is Back’ changes things up with its ska approach and gives way to the even easier moving reggae style composition, ‘Diplodocus.’  From there, things pull back even more with the folk style Stegosaurus.’  Things gradually pick back up after that song, carrying listeners through to the album’s end with three more rocking songs in the kindie-rock of ‘I’m a Pterodactyl,’ and the much heavier ‘The Kraken’ and ‘Kronosaurus.’  The short and simple of these arrangements is this:  From one to the next, the styles and sounds of the arrangements offer a certain level of variety.  The songs will appeal just as much to grown-ups as to their younger counterparts.  To that end, they form a strong foundation for the record.

Building on the strength thereof is the lyrical content that accompanies that musical content.  The lyrical content featured here is, as the album’s title suggests, about dinosaurs and at least one monster, the kraken.  From the Stegosaurus to the Dimetrodon to the perhaps lesser-known Kronosaurus (which was a real, sea-going dinosaur) and more, the album teaches listeners of all ages about a variety of dinosaurs.  Believe it or not, there are plenty of adults who remember very little about different dinosaurs (and other topics), so to that end, this content serves as a great review for those grown-ups and an equally welcome introduction for young listeners.  What’s more, kids love dinosaurs in general.  So, adding fun rocking songs to lessons about dinosaurs will just get kids enjoying learning about them even more.  Keeping that in mind, this simple, straight forward lyrical content from one song to the next, as it follows one, central theme makes the lyrical side of this record just as appealing as the album’s musical content.

While the content featured in Dinosaurs & Monsters clearly does plenty to make the album enjoyable, their sequencing puts the finishing touch to the presentation.  As noted already, the sounds and styles featured in the arrangements changes ever so much from one to the next, at least in regards to the heavier content.  The placement of the more pop-oriented songs in the middle of the album shows even more the time and thought that went into the album’s sequencing.  It shows the band did not want audiences to grow tired of the album.  That effort paid off, too.  That is because it ensures the stability of the album’s energy even as the sounds and styles of the songs change from one to the next.  Keeping that in mind, the album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to the presentation.  When the positive general effect ensured by the sequencing is considered along with the album’s content, the whole makes the album an enjoyable presentation for audiences of all ages.

Dinosaurs & Monsters, the latest album from family music act Howdytoons, is a presentation that the entire family will find enjoyable.  That is due in part to its musical content, which provides some fun rocking tunes that grown-ups will find familiar and that younger audiences will find a great introduction to the rock realm.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements is straight forward.  It centers on…well…dinosaurs, as with its three predecessors.  That straight forward, accessible presentation ensures audiences’ engagement throughout the album in its own right.  The sequencing of that content brings everything full circle and completes the album’s presentation.  That is because it ensures the album’s energy remains stable even as the sounds and styles of the arrangements changes ever so much throughout the album.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered they make Dinosaurs & Monsters a blast about the past for future generations of audiences.

Dinosaurs & Monsters is scheduled for release Friday through Howdytoons’ own label, Howdytoons Productions, Inc.  More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/howdytoons.

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

Sugar Ray Tapped as Flannel Fest Headliner; StarZero, X Wire Added As Support Acts

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Another well-known act from the 90s has been added to the bill for the inaugural “Flannel Nation Festival“.

Sugar Ray has been named a special guest headliner for the event, which is scheduled to take place Aug. 13 at the Port of Los Angeles. The one-day festival is also scheduled to feature performances from famous 90s acts, such as Candlebox, Filter, Fastball, and Everclear.

Sugar Ray has sold more than 10 million records over the course of its life. The band has four Top 10 songs, and has had its music streamed millions of times, too.

Also added to the lineup this week is StarZero. Fronted by Josh Paskowitzh (ex-The Flys), the band also features his brother Adam.

Another support act, X Wire, was also announced this week as part of the still-growing lineup for the “Flannel Nation Festival”.

More information on the Flannel Nation Festival is available along with all of its latest news at https://www.facebook.com/Flannel-Nation-Festival-102543952406355/.

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

New 90s Rock Festival Announced

Courtesy: Earshot Media

The 90s will make a comeback this summer at a special festival event.

The inaugural Flannel Nation Festival is scheduled to take place Aug. 13 at the Port of Los Angeles. The one-day festival is scheduled to feature performances from famous 90s acts, such as Candlebox, Filter, Fastball, and Everclear.

The festival’s full lineup is noted below. Tickets are available here.

The Lineup:

Everclear

Soul Asylum

Candlebox

Filter

Cracker

Fastball

Sponge

Special Guest Headliner TBA

More Bands To Be Added

More information on the Flannel Nation Festival is available along with all of its latest news at https://www.facebook.com/Flannel-Nation-Festival-102543952406355/.

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

Crashing Wayward Takes On The Political, Economic Establishment In New Single, Video

Courtesy: Crashing Wayward

Independent rock band Crashing Wayward premiered its latest single and video this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Disco Kills‘ and its video Tuesday through v13.net. The song features a musical arrangement that will appeal to any guitar rock purist.

The composition presents a sound and stylistic approach that shows influences from the likes of Stone Temple Pilots, Audioslave, and even Filter. Yes, that is a disparate mix of influences, but a close listen reveals the influence of all three bands, along with many others. The song was produced by MIke Gillies (Motley Crue, Metallica, The Cult).

The lyrical content featured in the song is meant as a sociopolitical commentary, according to front man Peter Summit.

“’Disco Kills’ was lyrically written as a metaphor about the politicians/big businesses who abuse their platform, disco being the metaphor,” he said. “It speaks in sequence to the effect that Disco music had on Rock in the late 70s, but its subject is a politician/big business who is enjoying the party. How about: It’s really a modern-day Marie Antoinette “Let them eat cake” story that takes on a duel meaning open for interpretation.”

The video for ‘Disco Kills’ puts the band — Summit, David Harris (guitar), Stacey Blades (guitar), Shon McKee (drums), and Carl Raether (bass) — into an empty building that perhaps was once either a warehouse or apartment building as it performs its new single. The video was directed by Vincent Cordero for Industrialism Films.

More information on Crashing Wayward’s new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.crashingwayward.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crashing.wayward

Twitter: https://twitter.com/crashingwayward

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

Kings Of Quarantine Debuts ‘Mountain Song’ Cover, Companion Video

Rock super group Kings of Quarantine debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band — Jason Rockman (Slaves on Dope), Kevin Jardine (Slaves on Dope), and Bill Kelliher (Mastodon) — debuted the video for its cover of the hit Janes Addiction song ‘Mountain Song‘ Tuesday. The band was joined by an all-star cast of musicians for the video and the song, consisting of: Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit), Tanner Wayne (In Flames), P-Nut (311), Louise Post (Veruca Salt), Richard Patrick (Filter), and Bert McCracken (The Used).

Kings of Quarantine’s take on ‘Mountain Song’ stays largely true to its source material. What it does extra is gives the song an added punch with its multiple vocal takes and even heavier, amped up guitars.

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

One hundred percent of sales from the single’s release will go to benefit Roadie Relief, an effort that serves to assist roadies who were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rockman talked about that attempt to help concert staff through the song’s sales in a prepared statement.

“We hope to not only put a smile on people’s faces, but also help the touring staff that have been severely affected by the pandemic”, said Rockman.

Kings of Quarantine’s latest single and video are the second from the group. The trio covered Faith No More’s 1987 hit song ‘We Care A Lot‘ last year. The group was joined by members of Anthrax, Korn, Filter, Run DMC, Refused, and Men Without Hats for that recoding and its video.

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

Holy Grail Announces New Live Dates In Support Of Its New Album

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Holy Grail has announced another new string of live dates.

Holy Grail (James-Paul Luna, Eli Santana, Alex Lee, Tyler Meahl, and Blake Mount) has announced a new slate of live dates in support of its new album Times of Pride and Peril. The album comes out Friday, February 12th worldwide via Prosthetic Records. The band’s upcoming tour begins February 8th in Phoenix, Arizona and runs through April 2nd in Newport, Kentucky. The band will serve as supporting act to Black Tusk for the course of the forty-six-date schedule. Legendary guitarist Marty Friedman will also be on board for a handful of dates. The current schedule for the upcoming tour is noted below. Additional information on upcoming dates, ticketing, and event deals can be found online via Holy Grail’s official website at http://www.holygrailofficial.com.

 

HOLY GRAIL TOUR DATES

2/8 Phoenix, AZ – The Rebel Lounge ^

2/9 El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls ^

2/11 San Antonio, TX – Fitzgerald’s ^

2/12 Houston, TX – Scout Bar ^

2/13 Dallas, TX – Trees ^

2/14 Little Rock, AR – Juanita’s ^

2/16 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade ^

2/17 Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits ^

2/18 Orlando, FL – Backbooth ^

2/19 St. Petersburg, FL – The State Theatre ^

2/20 Ocala, FL – O’Malley’s Alley

2/22 Greenville, SC – Gottrocks

2/23 Charlotte, NC – Milestone #

2/24 Virginia Beach, VA – Shakas #

2/25 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie #

2/26 Boston, MA – Once Ballroom #

2/27 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus #

2/29 Burlington, VT – Nectars #

3/1 Quebec City, QC – Le Cercle #

3/2 Montreal, QC – Foufounes Electriques #

3/3 Toronto, ON – Hard Luck #

3/4 Detroit, MI – Berserker Fest #

3/5 Chicago, IL – Reggies #

3/6 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon #

3/7 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock #

3/8 Fargo, ND – The Aquarium #

3/9 Winnipeg, MB – The Windsor Hotel #

3/11 Saskatoon, SK – Amigos Cantina #

3/12 Edmonton, AB – Brixx #

3/13 Calgary, AB – Palomino #

3/14 Kamloops, BC – The Office #

3/16 Vancouver, BC – The Biltmore #

3/17 Seattle, WA – El Corazon #

3/18 Spokane, WA – The Pin #

3/19 Portland, OR – Panic Room #

3/20 Bend, OR – Volcanic Theatre Pub #

3/22 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst #

3/23 San Francisco, CA – Thee Parkside #

3/24 Los Angeles, CA – Viper Room #

3/25 San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick #

3/26 Phoenix, AZ – Pub Rock #

3/28 Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Bar #

3/29 Denver, CO – Marquis Theater #

3/30 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room #

4/1 Indianapolis, IN – 5th Quarter #

4/2 Newport, KY – Southgate House #

^ with Marty Friedman

# with Black Tusk

 

 

Holy Grail’s upcoming tour is a quick turnaround for the band as it just wrapped up a twelve-date tour alongside Night Demon. That tour included a performance at Death Angel’s second annual Christmas Show on December 16th. Flotsam and Jetsam, Mordred, and The Ghost Next Door were also on hand for that show.

Times of Pride and Peril is Holy Grail’s third full-length studio recording. It comes three years after the release of the band’s highly acclaimed sophomore recording Ride The Void. That album was touted by Blabbermouth as being “an impressive confluence of dazzling musicianship and catchy, anthemic songwriting.” The band’s upcoming album focuses on the rise and fall of an empire. It is not a concept record, though. It was produced by John Spiker (Tenacious D, Filter). Pre-orders for the CD, LP, and digital downloads of the album begin this Friday, January 8th. The band will debut a new song from the album on the same day. More information on this and more is available online now at:

Website: http://www.holygrailofficial.com

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/holygrailofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/holygrailband

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Nonpoint Signs New Deal With Metal Blade Records

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Officials with Metal Blade Records announced today the addition of Florida-based hard rock band Nonpoint to its artist roster. The deal between Nonpoint and Metal Blade will see Metal Blade release Nonpoint’s upcoming eighth full-length album internationally. Front man Elias Soriano spoke with reporters on the announcement, expressing his happiness over the new deal. “This is a dream situation for us,” he said. “We’ve always needed a team behind us outside of the U.S. It’s a great feeling knowing you now have the best team possible.”

 
Drummer Robb Rivera echoed Soriano’s sentiments in his comments. “We are excited to get not only THE worldwide label of labels to release our album outside of the US, but to be part of a family now that has pretty much set the bar for metal releases for 30 plus years,” he said. “Needless to say , extremely excited to be able to get our music to the fans outside of the US through the team that helped launch Metallica.”

 
Nonpoint’s next album is currently slated to drop this Fall. Metal Blade Records rep Brian Slagel hinted at what fans can expect from the new album, stating, “The bit of new material I heard sounds great!” He was just as pleased with the announcement of the new deal between Nonpoint and Metal Blade Records. He said of the announcement, “All of us at Metal Blade are happy to welcome Nonpoint to the Metal Blade family. We are excited to work with them.”

 
Nonpoint will perform live at the Central Florida Fairgrounds at the WJRR Earthday Birthday festival. Also slated for the festival are: Alter Bridge, Everclear, All That Remains, Cypress Hill, Alien Ant Farm, Pepper, Fuel, Filter, Saving Abel, Saigon Kick, Lacuna Coil, Tantric, and many other bands. Nonpoint is also scheduled to perform at Rock The Yard in Kernersville, North Carolina on June 22nd alongside Another Lost Year. More information on the band’s current tour schedule, its upcoming eighth full-length studio release and more is available online now at http://www.nonpoint.com, http://www.facebook.com/nonpointworld, and http://twitter.com/nonpoint. 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rocklahoma Organizers Announce New Ticket Package

Courtesy:  Ashton Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton Magnuson Media

Organizers of the annual Rocklahoma concert festival announced this week that they will make available a new ticket package for audiences.

The new Zippo Encore Fan Package For Two will be available beginning next Tuesday, March 18th at 1pm ET/12pm CT.  The package includes:

  • Two (2) Weekend General Admission Tickets (inclusive of all service charges and fees)
  • Meal vouchers (two per day)
  • Two (2) Official Festival Zippo Lighters
  • One (1) one-year subscription to Revolver Magazine.

Tickets can be ordered online at the official Rocklahoma website, http://www.rocklahoma.com.

Also on March 18th, ticket prices both for general admission tickets and general admission 4-packs will increase.  General admission tickets currently are available for a price of $109 plus fees.  Beginning March 18th, that price will increase to $129 plus fees.  Weekend 4-pack General Admission packs will increase from $349 plus fees to $399 plus fees.  This takes effect beginning at 1pm ET/12pm CT.

Members of the military can get discounted tickets for the Rocklahoma festival online at http://www.govx.com.  Prices for those tickets will also increase March 18th at 1pm ET/12pm CT.

The new ticket package and price increases are not all that organizers announced this week for the annual festival.  Organizers also announced the return of the “Miss Rocklahoma” contest.  The contest runs through April 18th.  Ten finalists will be announced in late April online at http://www.rocklahoma.com.  Contestants and fans can register and vote online at http://www.rocklahoma.com.

The complete lineup for this year’s edition of the Rocklahoma Festival is:  Kid Rock, Five Finger Death Punch, Staind, Twisted Sister, Deftones, Seether, Motörhead, Jackyl, Filter, Black Label Society, Theory of a Deadman, Killswitch Engage, Skid Row, Tom Keifer of Cinderella, Hellyeah, Kix, Down, Pop Evil, Adelitas Way, Black Stone Cherry, Trivium, Texas Hippie Coalition, The Pretty Reckless, Thousand Foot Krutch, Redlight King, Skindred, KYNG, We As Human, Nothing More, Devour the Day, Heaven’s Basement, Gemini Syndrome, Butcher Babies, Eve to Adam, Truckfighters, Scorpion Child, Twelve Foot Ninja, Kill Devil Hill, Killer Dwarfs, Mandy Lion, Bai Bang, Lynam, ASKA, Black Tora, Firstryke, Mystery, Nasty Habit, Sleepy Hollow, Wicked, Down & Dirty, Loveblast, Ruff Justice, Ratchet Dolls, Ragdoll, Dellacoma, Chaotic Resemblance, Scattered Hamlet, Siren, Mach22, Tempt, London’s Dungeon, Mine Enemies Fall, Station, The Chimpz, Sleepwalking Home, Well Hung Heart, Framing The Red, Blackwater Rebellion, Dryvr, Jet West and Dirty Crush.

The annual Rocklahoma Festival is sponsored by Bud Light, U.S. Cellular, Jagermeister, Monster Energy, Hard Rock Casino, Route 66 RVs, and Jack Daniels.

More information on the annual Rocklahoma Festival is available online at http://www.rocklahoma.com, http://www.facebook.com/rocklahoma and http://twitter.com/rocklahoma.  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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Otherwise Join “Self-Inflicted” Tour, Release New Lyric Video

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Las Vegas based hard rock band Otherwise is on the road again.  The band has joined up with fellow supporting acts Red and We As Human on Filter’s “Self-Inflicted Tour.”  Since its release in 2012, Otherwise has seen its new album, True Love Never Dies, sell more than 50,000 copies since its release in May 2012.  ‘Soldiers’, the lead single from the album has sold more than 100,000 digital downloads.  And the band’s videos have received a total of more than 2.4 million views on YouTube.  That number is sure to be even high with the release of the lyric video for the band’s new single, ‘Die For You.’  The video can be viewed online now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0_91w3P0NE.  The song about devotion in the face of betrayal is the third single from True Love Never Dies.

The most current listing of the band’s tour dates is available below.

OTHERWISE with FILTER, RED & WE AS HUMAN:

OCTOBER

09: Denver, CO – The Summit Music Hall

11: Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room At Old National Center

12: Fort Wayne, IN – Pierre’s

15: Ardmore, PA – The Ardmore Music Hall

16: New York, NY – The Gramercy Theatre

17: Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club

18: Vienna, WA – Fishbone Gill And Grill

19: Flint, MI – The Machine Shop

20: Racine, WI – Rt 20 Outhouse

22: Chicago, IL – House Of Blues

24: Little Rock, AR – Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom

25: Broussard, LA – The Station Bar And Grill

26: Houston, TX – Scout Bar (NO FILTER)

27: Fort Smith, AR – Longhorn Saloon

OTHERWISE headlining:

DECEMBER

28: Las Vegas, NV – The Railhead at Boulder Station Hotel & Casino

More information on the band’s tour, new singles, and more is available online at http://www.weareotherwise.com, http://www.facebook.com/otherwiseofficial, and http://twitter.com/weareotherwise.  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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com