The Winery Dogs

I didn't see a thread about The Winery Dogs made, so I shall start one:

The Winery Dogs are just an all-around excellent band, I really love their sound! Their 3 talents really blend together well- of course nothing needs to be said about Portnoy that hasn't been said already.. and, Richie Kotzen is a great singer and guitarist, and wow, Billy Sheehan is an amazing bassist.. I really liked this jazz-rock group he was in called Niacin, they are really good

I have both Winery Dogs albums and love them both, and have seen them live twice at the same venue and they are excellent live!


Staff member
I'm a fan of all three individual members, but the album itself did nothing for me. Kinda reminded me of Black Country Communion, another band with a great lineup but music that didn't interest me.

I wish Portnoy and Sheehan would've done the PSMS thing more, maybe replace MacAlpine with Ritchie Kotzen (better guitarist anyway IMO). That would've been much more interesting I think .
Well, I understand what you mean, there have been some supergroups in the past with members of bands I like that I just didn't really get into, ie: I love STP and Guns N Roses, but Velvet Revolver were just kinda ehh... and, I love Iced Earth & Blind Guardian but Demons & Wizards aren't really anything that special to me... So, I see where you're coming from, but I still love The Winery Dogs, and Black Country Communion as well


General of the Dark Army
Staff member
I hadn't heard of them at all until they were announced for Sonisphere last year, to the delight of various people on social media. I wasn't terribly impressed by them. Nothing bad, but they didn't stand out much.


Staff member
It's rare to see a supergroup that actually has superb chemistry. There's some truth to the idea that coming up together as a band builds chemistry in a way that's hard to duplicate. Supergroups often have the additional problem of "too many chiefs, not enough Indians".

To his credit, I think most of Portnoy's groups so far have been on the better side of supergroups, and I think he's the reason. While you know he's gonna take his bits in the spotlight, he has a history of making some effort to blend into the group's style. He is at least living up to the reason he gave for leaving DT: making music with lots of different groups instead of just one. But then again, his best groups are the ones with Neal Morse, as they've been playing together for years now.


For a supergroup they've actually managed to write some pretty good songs - or rather, Richie Kotzen writes some good songs and then decide it's going to be a Winery Dogs-song rather for his next solo album... Still, it's too much of a showcase of their individual talents for me. Not a fan of Portnoy's drumming in the slightest. Richie Kotzen is a great singer and a technically skilled guitarplayer, and Billy Sheehan is a superb bassplayer - but I'd rather pair him up with a less busy playing drummer than Portnoy (like with Pat Torpey in Mr. Big). Technically they of course manage to pull their ventures off, but I'm not so sure I like to listen to it... A song like "Oblivion" is more like a technical jam with a chorus slapped on than a complete song. Same with "Elevate" from the first album.


Ancient Mariner
The first album 8/10.
The second 4/10. Did nothing to me.
It seems too technical to the debut one which had perfect balance between skills on instruments and feeling. The debut album benefited heavily from Portnoy using the 5 - piece kit and more fundemental drumming and more straight forward aproach that they lost a bit with the second one. IMHO.


Ancient Mariner
Saw them live on both tours and heard not one bad word from anyone in either crowd. Seeing them live gives a better idea of why the hype. Ritchie did a jaw dropping cover of Hey Joe. Billy's bass solo leads straight into You Saved Me worked well. For variety they have slower songs like Damaged and Regret that are well done. New song Ghost Town is a deceptive one (my favorite of the new LP). It starts off loud, but then changes.