Classic Rock Supergroups come and go all the time nowadays. They boulder up for some big event and present themselves witha big bang and loads of bluster and that's about it. It isn't like the old days with bands like Cream where they set out their stall and build a rep and go on to set the world a light and create something that will last a life time.
So it is with The Winery Dogs first offering. The three piece outfit consisting of Richie Kotzen (ex Poison) Mike Portnoy (Ex - Dream Theater and about every other drum stool in rockdom) and Billy Sheehan (Ex- Mr Big). It is hard to say where they intend on heading after this album. It is a very solid base of classic tunes. They have a 1987 Whitesnake sound to about half of the album and some very blusey sounding songs to some of the album. There is something there for all Classic Rock fans.
Richie Kotzen is a fine Guitar player and his playing on this album shows that he can fit in with Sheehan and Portnoy well. Add in Kotzen's Lead vocals and it is a really nice blend. There are no real duff tracks on the album, it flows, which for a first outing from a band of 3 established artists shouldn't be a surprise, but for me it was. None of the band stand out of place.
I think everyone knows that even though Mike Portnoy is best known as Tubthumper from Dream Theater, he has a diverse resume of side projects and his ability to fit into absolutely any style is effortless.
Stand out tracks on the album for me are "Desire", a groove laden track that harks back to Mr Big and (dare I say it ) Kotzen's time in Poison. The final track on the album "Regret" a mournful blues that just demands that you start the album over again to cheer yourself up again, great sales job fellas!
Overall, if this is what these guys can do with release one, then I really hope that Portnoy, Kotzen and Sheehan can make the time to keep it up and release more original material in the future as it's great to hear accomplished musicians obviously having fun playing great music in a time when that is sorely lacking.