Fans are getting ready for The Winery Dogs fall U.S. tour, which is set to kick off on Saturday, October 3, at 8 p.m. at The Ridgefield Playhouse as part of the Pepsi Rock Series powered by Xfinity. The Winery Dogs - a rock supergroup comprised of vocalist and guitarist Richie Kotzen who made his mark with Poison and Mr. Big, bassist Billy Sheehan who has been rocking for decades with Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big and others, and drummer Mike Portnoy the co-founder of progressive metal superstars Dream Theater.
The seeds of The Winery
Dogs were planted in 2011 when Sheehan and Portnoy were working on music
together with a different guitarist and songwriter. When that didn’t gel, a
mutual friend, “That Metal Show” host and consummate music fan, Eddie Trunk,
suggested they contact Kotzen and see if he was interested in forming a band.
“We all thought that was a brilliant idea,” Portnoy says. “We were looking for
that super gifted guitar player, singer and songwriter -- and that’s Richie.” Supergroups often times are 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. The push-pull dynamic illustrates how The
Winery Dogs toy with established styles and turn them into something special,
complete with Sheehan’s acrobatic bass fills and Kotzen’s rapidfire solos,
which help The Winery Dogs blend in a way that’s both instantly recognizable
and utterly individual. Earlier this
year the group started work on the follow-up to their debut album, which will
be self-produced and released in North America this fall on Loud & Proud
Records via RED (a division of Sony Music Entertainment) and in the rest of the
world via earMUSIC. Media sponsor for this event is 99.1fm WPLR.
For tickets ($55), call or visit the
box office at The Ridgefield Playhouse, (203) 438-5795. The Ridgefield Playhouse
is a not-for-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main
Street, Ridgefield, CT; ridgefieldplayhouse.org.