‘Dog Years’ Ensures Engagement, Entertainment With Simplicity, Song Balance

Courtesy: Loud & Proud Records

Early next month, rock super group The Winery Dogs will release its latest live recording Dog Years to the masses. The recording, which includes both a live 15-song (17 if one counts drummer Mike Portnoy and bassist Billy Sheehan’s solos) set and a bonus 5-song studio EP is an impressive new live effort from The Winery Dogs.  That is due in part to both of the noted elements and the trio’s performance of the noted set list.  Each element is important in its own right to the recording’s overall presentation.  All things considered, they make Dog Years a work that proves to be one more of this year’s top new live recordings.

The Winery Dogs’ latest new live recording Dog Years is an enjoyable new offering from the rock super group, and easily a candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new live recordings.  That is due in part to its 15-song (again, 17 if one counts the two solo segments) set list.  The set list, which runs approximately 98-minutes, pulls almost equally from both of the band’s current albums.  The band’s self-titled debut is represented with seven songs while Hot Streak gets eight nods.  Considering the fact that The Winery Dogs boasts a total of 13 songs, that representation means that the band treated it Chilean audiences with more than half of that album in the concert presented in this recording.  That in itself is well worthy of its own share of applause.  The same applies to the band’s latest full-length studio recording.  Eight of its 13 total songs are represented in this live recording.  As with The Winery Dogs, that selection means that once again the band pulls from more than half of Hot Streak, too.  The result of that set list is a show that gives audiences a very healthy representation of the band’s body of work today.  This is more than worth its share of applause.

On a related note, the sequencing of the show’s rich set list is just as important to note as the set list itself.  Audiences will note in the set list that the band never sticks to one album or the other for far too long at one time.  The longest span that each album sees in this set list is two songs.  In other words, the band ensures audiences engagement not just with the set list but also with its sequencing.  The pairing of these factors does plenty to keep the concert entertaining and engaging.  The pairing makes the elements collectively just one of the key elements to discuss in examining this recording.  The band’s performance of the set list is just as important to note as the set list and its sequencing.

The band’s performance of the concert’s set list is so important to note because without a solid performance, there would be little to talk about here.  Audiences will be happy to know that the band’s performance of the concert’s set list is just as solid as the set list itself and its sequencing showing that it is possible to have an enjoyable live experience without unnecessary pyro and other elements.  Front man Richie Kotzen and company waste little time between songs with any idle rambling opting instead to keep the show’s energy flowing from one song to the next.  There are some brief interludes between songs, but for the most part, the band keeps things moving swiftly, explaining why the show’s run time comes in at just under two hours.  Add to the concert’s constant transitions the energy in each musician’s performance, and audiences get a show that will completely enthrall them.  From Kotzen’s own energy to Mike Portnoy’s driving tempos that barely let up to Sheehan’s own solid low-end and fiery performance, audiences get plenty to applaud even from the comfort of their own homes.  The entertainment and engagement ensured through the band’s performance couples with the show’s set list in all of its aspects to strengthen the concert’s presentation even more.  They are not the recording’s only key elements either.  The bonus five-song Dog Years EP is just as important to note in examining the recording’s presentation as the show’s set list and the band’s performance.

The bonus give-song Dog Years EP that comes with The Winery God’s new live recording is just as important to note in examining this recording’s presentation as the concert’s set list and the band’s performance thereof.  The EP is important to discuss because none of the songs featured on the disc are included in the concert or on either of the band’s current albums.  Odds are the blues-based songs are works that didn’t make the final cut for one of both of those records.  That is a positive to note because if that is indeed the case, then the inclusion of the songs here completes even more the listening experience for both records.  Regardless of whether or not that is the case, their inclusion still adds plenty to the overall experience of this live recording.  That is because one could easily argue that they present a sense of additional encores from the concert, despite being studio tracks.  Keeping this in mind, the bonus EP that comes with Live In Santiago more than proves itself as an important piece of the recording’s overall presentation.  When it is considered along with the concert’s set list and the band’s performance thereof, the whole of these elements gives audiences plenty to bark about. No, this review could not be completed without that intentionally awful pun or a variant thereof.  That aside, the whole of the noted elements makes Dog Years in whole an easy candidate for a slot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new live recordings.

The Winery Dogs’ latest live recording Dog Years is a work that any critic should have on his or her list of the year’s top new live recordings come December.  That is due, as already noted, in part due to the concert’s set list.  The set list pulls relatively equally from both of the band’s current albums and never sticks to one album or the other for too long. The band’s performance of the set list adds just as much entertainment to the concert thanks to the energy put into the performance by each band member.  The bonus five-song EP that is included with the recording is a virtual multi-song encore for fans who didn’t’ get enough from the extensive audio-visual experience presented in the live recording.  Each element clearly plays its own important part in the overall presentation of Dog Years.  All things considered, this recording proves fully deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new live recordings.  More information on Dog Years is available online now along with all The Winery Dogs’ latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.thewinerydogs.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thewinerydogs

 

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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The Winery Dogs To Release New Live Recording This Summer

Courtesy: Loud & Proud Records

The Winery Dogs are set to really heat things up this summer with a new live recording.

The band will release its new live recording Dog Years: Live in Santiago and Beyond 2013-2016 Friday, August 4 via Loud & Proud Records.  The recording will feature live recordings from the band’s past four years of live shows.  It will be available both in a standard 2-disc CD platform as well as a special deluxe edition.

The recording’s standard 2-CD platform features a Blu-ray that includes 100 minutes of concert footage as well and music videos from both of the band’s two current albums The Winery Dogs (2013) and Hot Streak (2015).

It also includes a companion EP featuring a handful of previously unreleased songs that didn’t make the cut on those albums.  Pre-orders for the standard edition are open now here.

The recording’s extended five-disc platform includes everything featured in its standard two-disc platform. As a bonus, it also includes two CDs containing live concert audio. Pre-orders are available now here.

Dog Years: Live in Santiago and Beyond 2013 – 2016 is not The Winery Dogs’ first live recording.  Unleashed Live in Japan 2013 was included with the deluxe edition of the band’s debut album, and featured 10 songs recorded during the Japan leg of the band’s 2013 tour in support of that album. The album’s deluxe edition was released Nov. 11, 2014.

The track and video listing for Dog Years: Live in Santiago and Beyond 2013 – 2016 is noted below.

LIVE IN SANTIAGO:
1. Oblivion
2.  Captain Love
3.  We Are One
4.  Hot Streak
5. How Long
6.  Time Machine
7.  Empire
8.  Fire
9.  Think It Over
10.  Mike Portnoy Drum Solo
11.  The Other Side
12.  Billy Sheehan Bass Solo
13.  Ghost Town
14.  I’m No Angel
15.  Elevate
16.  Regret
17.  Desire
MUSIC VIDEOS:
Elevate
Desire
Time Machine
I’m No Angel
Oblivion
Captain Love
Hot Streak
Fire
DOG YEARS EP:
1.  Criminal
2.  The Game
3.  Solid Ground
4.  Love Is Alive
5.  Moonage Daydream

Audiences can view a trailer for Dog YearsLive in Santiago and Beyond 2013 – 2016 hereonline now .  More information on Dog Years: Live in Santiago and Beyond 2013 – 2016 is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.thewinerydogs.com

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thewinerydogs

 

 

 

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 Sophomore Album Debuts On A Hot Streak

Courtesy:  Loud & Proud Records/Red Distribution

Courtesy: Loud & Proud Records/Red Distribution

The Winery Dogs are on a hot streak.

The Winery Dogs’ new album Hot Streak has been in stores a little more than a week. In that time, the sophomore recording from the rock semi-supergroup has made quite the splash. It debuted at #30 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart in its first week, in the #2 spot on Billboard’s Top Current Alternative Albums Chart and at #6 and #5 in the magazine’s Top Current Rock and Top Hard Music chart respectively. Those are just a few of the accolades that the album achieved in its first week in stores. The complete list of the album’s chart numbers is noted below.

#30 Top 200 Albums
#2 Top Current Alternative Albums
#5 “Top Current Hard Music”
#5 “Top Hard Music Albums”
#6 “Top Current Rock Albums”
#6 “Album Core / Genre Rock”
#15 “Top Current Physical Albums”
#16 “Top Current Albums”

Hot Streak was released Friday, October 2nd on Loud & Proud Records via Red Distribution. ‘Oblivion,’ the self-produced album’s lead single, was released August 25th and made its way into the Top 30 of Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart. A double-LP vinyl presentation of Hot Streak is currently in the works and is currently scheduled for release on Friday, November 13th. More information on Hot Streak is available online now along with all of the latest news from The Winery Dogs at:

Website: http://www.TheWineryDogs.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheWineryDogs

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 Even Better The Second Time Around

Courtesy:  Loud & Proud Records

Courtesy: Loud & Proud Records

Billy Sheehan, Mike Portnoy, and Richie Kotzen (a.k.a. The Winery Dogs) released their self-titled debut last summer.  The rock super group’s album proved to be one of the best rock records of 2013 at least in the view of this critic.  Now the trio has followed up the success of its debut full-length with a re-issue of that album that includes a bonus live disc boasting a ten-song live performance by the band.  That recording, Unleashed in Japan 2013, combines songs from the band’s self-titled debut, and songs previously unreleased in the United States.  The bonus disc itself is the central point of the re-issue’s enjoyment.  The recording’s set list is another reason that audiences will enjoy the bonus concert.  The show’s audio mix is the finishing touch for the whole package.  That factor, the set list and the very fact that this show would be included with the original album makes the whole package one of the year’s re-issues definitely worth checking out.

The new re-issue of The Winery Dogs’ self-titled 2013 debut record is one of the few album re-issues definitely worth checking out in 2014.  The primary reason for that is the album’s bonus companion live recording.  The Winery Dogs obviously isn’t the first band to re-issue an album with a bonus live recording.  But The Winery Dogs is a super group of sorts.  Its members each have their own projects going on outside of this one.  So, touring time is more than likely limited.  That being the case, it makes any live recording all the more valuable especially for fans that don’t have or haven’t had the chance to experience The Winery Dogs live.  The companion live recording is even more of a bonus when compared to the live recordings included as companion material by other bands on their albums.  Other bands just take performances from their tours and jam them all together onto a CD or DVD (or both in some cases).  The Winery Dogs didn’t do that here.  This recording is an extensive concert recorded in Tokyo, Japan, July 17th 2013.  That was the second ever concert held by the band.  It would be interesting to see if Loud & Proud Records will follow up this audio recording with a companion DVD/Blu-ray video in the near future to compliment this piece of the whole.  Regardless, having included a concert recording as extensive as this one with the band’s debut album is central to this re-issue.  It gives audiences the near complete experience of what The Winery Dogs is all about.

The inclusion of the bonus live recording as part of The Winery Dogs’ new re-issue is central to the re-issue’s enjoyment.  The set list chosen for the band’s concert is just as important to the package.  Audiences will notice that the band only played a few of the songs from its debut record in this concert.  The band included in its live companion recording one song that was previously unavailable to American audiences.  The trio also included songs that its members had written and recorded with and by others.  Among those songs are: Poison’s ‘Stand’, Elvin Bishop’s ‘Fooled Around and Fell In Love’, and even a piece co-written by Richie Kotzen and Richie Zito (both of whom performed and recorded with Poison) titled ‘Shine.’  The combination of the band’s own works and the these songs makes the band’s concert all the more of a full experience.  The band’s balance of the songs throughout its set is the key to that enjoyment.  And set alongside the concert’s audio mix, the concert becomes a complete experience for fans.

The set list chosen for the band’s concert presented here is quite well balanced, especially being a concert promoting the band’s debut album.  As important as the set list is to the experience, the audio quality of the recording is especially important.  That applies whether or not audiences were actually there in person at the show.  The show’s audio mix is relatively clear. The vocals and music are both equally balanced. The show’s audio operator is to be commended for handling what was a clear issue with the venue’s acoustics. Even on record, audiences can tell that the concert’s venue had to have had rather high ceilings. Even despite this, the person helming the boards compensated quiet well for this, putting what is the final touch to the recording, making it a recording that any fan of these three veteran musicians will love. The recording together with the band’s original debut album make the package as a whole one of the year’s few re-issues so far worth checking out.

The band is currently touring in support of its newly re-issued album. It will perform live at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, CT. The band’s current tour schedule also brings it to North Carolina for a pair of dates this month. A performance at Amos Southend in Charlotte, North Carolina is scheduled for next Saturday, May 10th and one to follow the next day at Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem. The band’s current tour schedule is available online at http://www.facebook.com/TheWineryDogs. Audiences can check out the band’s tour schedule there as well as keep up with the latest news from the band, too.

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 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