The past 30 years of rock 'n' roll have spawned plenty of virtuosic players — particularly the '80s, when excess was de rigueur and infiltrated even the number of notes contained in the average guitar solo. More and more bands in the '80s boasted musical athletes who blurred the lines between artistic expression and vapid displays of technical skill. But while many of those players were forgotten by time or simply eradicated from the industry by the great grunge cleansing of the '90s, some of the era's most talented and heralded musicians attained the sort of notoriety that simply does not go away. Three of the period's most notable players — bass guitar wizard and former David Lee Roth collaborator Billy Sheehan, shred-guitar prodigy and guitar-mag darling Richie Kotzen, and Dream Theater drum demon Mike Portnoy — came together to form the supergroup Winery Dogs several years ago as an outlet for their more traditional rock 'n' roll sensibilities.
The band's sound takes more from the classic rock of the late '60s and early '70s than the pyrotechnics its individual members are known for purveying. The Winery Dogs' debut record drew comparisons to a turbocharged Grand Funk Railroad with a hearty dash of British blues-rock and — ironically enough — had a '90s alt-rock twist to it, in the vein of Alice in Chains. Though the songwriting is absolutely the focal point of the Winery Dogs' music, the uninitiated should rest assured there is still enough go-and-show here to satiate fans of its members' legendary histrionics, just in a more subtle context.
The band released its sophomore LP, Hot Streak, earlier this month. Their tour in support of the album will make a stop at Fort Lauderdale's Culture Room this Friday.
8 p.m. Friday, October 16, at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $25 via ticketmaster.com.
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