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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...9/24/15

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 09/24/2015

"It's alive! It's alive! It is alive!" A famous quote from the movie "Frankenstein," where a supposed mad doctor creates a human being from multiple parts of deceased others and brings it to life with a power surge from a lightning strike. Today's music climate sees multiple artists forming "Franken-bands" as they are varying from their main or defunct groups to collaborate in side projects.

One of these mixed bags is comprised of Dream Theater alumni Mike Portnoy on drums, bassist Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai, David Lee Roth) and former Poison guitarist and longtime Mr Big mainstay Richie Kotzen; who together form; The Winery Dogs. "The chemistry in this band is, umm, interesting," said Kotzen with a laugh as he elaborated on the personalities which are what he considers the band's strong point. "We all have very different strengths and styles. We don't all always agree but when we do find common ground it becomes The Winery Dogs."

The Winery Dogs grew from the efforts of Portnoy and Sheehan. The two were working together late in 2011 but utilizing the talents of another guitarist. Reports have it that the trio didn't mesh as well as hoped and Kotzen had been suggested by a friend of the duo, the rest as they say; is history.

The trio first got together in January of 2012 and in their first meeting wrote three songs. One month later they returned for a second time and wrote five additional tunes; they all clicked and knew that they had something special. "When we're together in a room," explains Kotzen; "We come up with skeletons of songs. We probably have about God knows how many songs we've started or tried or are in the concept mode. We find it also depends on what we were listening to at the time or the night before. Like if I'm listening to R & B, my style tends to reflect that or if Mike is listening to whatever he was into at the moment or Billy; it comes out and hopefully we can make it work or blend it into something."

October 2 the band plans on releasing their second studio disc titled, "Hot Streak," followed by a tour which kicks off on October 3 in Ridgefield, CT. "The title comes from a song on the record and we feel it shows the evolution of the band; it also resonated with me for some reason," says an excited Kotzen who, as he laughed added, "It also describes the attitude of the band, especially on stage; we're a bunch of hot dogs!"

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Kotzen says that this tour and the record release are "Big Stuff" for the band and hopefully for the fans as well. "Oh yeah this is big stuff for us! The new record is coming out and we really feel that we've outdid ourselves. This is a bigger record, we took more chances, my producer is very excited and we are anxious to play the new material for our fan base. We've been playing "Oblivion" for a while and it's been going over well so we're pretty excited."

Along with the scheduled release and coinciding tour, Kotzen is releasing a live DVD from his solo tour; also on October 2. "I'm going to get it all out there," he stated with confidence. "Besides The Winery Dogs, I have no other bands. Mike is always touring with somebody, Billy is involved with some other things and me; I'm not really a multiple band guy. I did a stint with Poison and of course with Mr Big but it's The Winery Dogs for me right now and that's it; I can't be in several bands at one time. If not with these guys, I'd be doing my solo thing. I love to write and record and tour and I'm very excited to release the DVD with our CD."

A native of northeastern Pennsylvania, Kotzen says that the band loves playing Philadelphia, New York City and Los Angeles since they have "Home town connections" to these cities but loves how the band has been received throughout the country. Claiming that the fans will determine the length of the tour, Richie and the band know that regardless of the outcome, those who come to the shows are in for a high energy, good time. "Well, hopefully the fans will love the new record and more shows will be added and we'll tour far into 2016; so it all depends on them really. It could happen that way or they hate the new record and we go home (laughs). Now if that happens then I'll probably take a year off or maybe I'll make another record; I don't know. I do know this; we are ready to tour, we are anxious to hit the road and play the new material and we're going to give it our best every night!"

"Hot Streak" is a 13 track effort on the Loud and Proud label. To discover more about the upcoming release and tour; please go to

That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!


Alchemist & Barrister

28 Witherspoon Street Princeton

(609) 924-5555

Thurs. 9 p.m. "Thursday Jazz" feat.  Keith Franklin Trio

Sun. 9 p.m. Kenny Cunningham

All shows 21+

Amalfi's Restaurant

146 Lawrenceville-Pennington Rd. Lawrenceville

(609) 912-1599

Fri 8:30 p.m. Papa Delux & MSG

Sat. 8:30 p.m. Ron Kraemer

Amarones Windsor Inn

29 Church St. Windsor

(609) 448-7144

 Fri. 8 p.m. Larry D

Sat. 8 p.m. Sounds Of The Street

Blend Bar & Bistro

911 Highway 33, Hamilton

(609) 245-8887

 Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam 

The Backstage at Championship Bar 

931 Chambers St. Trenton

Fri. 6 p.m. "Nice Guy Booking and Headbang For The Highway Present: The Battle For Knotfest Day 1" feat. The Blessing Of This Curse, Proletariat, Premonitions, Enemy Within, NoraStone, (TBA).  All ages, $15

Sat. 6 p.m.  "Nice Guy Booking and Headbang For The Highway Present: The Battle For Knotfest Day 2" feat. Suicide Conspiracy, Throat, Lethal  Affection, Common Wealth, Unholy Dispute, Stealing Fame, (TBA). All ages, $15

Candlelight Lounge 

24 Passaic St. Trenton

(609) 695-9612

Sat. 3 p.m. Jullian Pressley Sax Quartet. (No cover-$10 minimum)

Chickie's & Pete's

183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown

(609) 298-9182

 Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night feat. The Dawgs

Wed. 9 p.m. Trivia Night

Dog & Bull Brew House

810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.

(215) 788-2855

Thurs. 8 p.m. Twin Ghost

Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour Jam" feat. Keli Vale Jazz Duo (9 p.m.) Vic's Mix

Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch Jam" feat. Michael Leggerie (9 p.m.) Deb & Mike

Sun. (11 a.m.) "Sunday Brunch" feat. Keli Vale jazz Duo (3 p.m.) Kevin Toft & The All Stars

Mon. 8 p.m. Dustin Beck

Tues. 8 p.m. Mark Macmanus

Wed. 8 p.m. Paul Donavan

Fran's Pub

116 S. Main St. New Hope, PA.


Sat 8 p.m. Catch 5

Mon. 8 p.m. Open Blues Jam

All shows 21+  

Halo Pub

4617 Nottingham Way Hamilton Square

(609) 586-1811

Sat. 7 p.m. Paul Plumeri Joe Kramer Jerry Monk 

Havana New Hope

105 S. Main Street. New Hope, Pa. 

(215) 862-9897

Thurs. 10 p.m. "Beat The Clock" College Night DJ Dance Party

Fri. 8 p.m. Sammy Flow / Paul Plumeri Band

Sat. 8:30 p.m. An Evening With Ace Frehley. Ages 21+, Doors at 6 p.m., $55 (general admission)

Sun. (1 p.m.) "Wounded Warrior Project Benefit and Carlos Del Catilla Tribute" (6:30 p.m.) JB Kline CD Release Party

Mon. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron

Wed. Pat Foran and Friends

Hopewell Valley Vineyards

46 Yard Rd. Pennington

(609) 737-4465

Thurs. 6 p.m. Michael Gallant w/ James Popik

Ivy Tavern 

3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton

(609) 888-1435

Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Fri. 10 p.m. Gunsmoke

Sat. 10 p.m. Beatles Pie

All shows 21+

John & Peter's 

96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.

(215) 862-5981

Thurs. 9 p.m. "J & P's Comedy Night" w/ Sinners & Saints

Fri. 9 p.m. Keith Kenny CD Release 

Sat. (3 p.m.) Run To Sandy (9 p.m.) Ammunition

Sun. (3 p.m.) "Miss Pumpkin Presents" A Drag Show Benefit (9 p.m.) Collin J. Rocker & The Burning Barrels w/ Justin Wells 

Mon. 9 p.m. Husky Burnette

Tues. 9 p.m. DJ Aggreschen

Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational

All shows 21+

JoJo's Tavern

2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton

(609) 586-2678

Wed. 10 p.m. Karaoke

Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series at the Capital Green

201 Barrack Street Trenton

Sat. 7 p.m. Dean Ween Group, Good Graeff, Molly Rhythm. All ages, Free outdoor event

Millhill Basement

300 S. Broad Street Trenton

(609) 989-1600

Wed. 9 p.m. Austin Lucas, Sammy Kay, Johnny Ott, Brian Rothenbeck, Steve Burks. $10

Palermo's Of Hamilton

310 Klockner Rd. Hamilton

(609) 838-7979

Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

All shows 21+ 

Patriot's Crossing

1339 River Rd. Titusville

(609) 737-2780

Fri. 7:30 p.m. Back Porch Jug Band

Sat. 7:30 p.m. Chris & Tommy's Good Time Show

Pete's Steak House

523 Whitehorse Ave. Hamilton

(609) 585-8008

Fri. 9:30 p.m. (TBA)

Sat. 9:30 p.m. Kevin Toft & The All Stars

 Randy Now's Man Cave

134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown

(609) 424-3766

Sun. 7:30 p.m. Les The Mentalist. All ages, Doors at 7 p.m., $10

RHO Waterfront

50 Riverview Plaza Trenton

(609) 393-7300

 Thurs. 9 p.m. "College Night" w/ DJ Wessy Wes. Ages 21+, $5 (with college ID), $15 (without)

Fri. (4 p.m.) Happy Hour Buffet. $10 (8:30 p.m.) The Grace Little Band

Sat. (1 p.m.) "Trenton Animal Shelter Fundraiser" w/ keynote speaker CBS Meteorologist Carol Erickson. $40 (9 p.m.) "Risk Taker 45th. Anniversary and Birthday Celebration for FEE and Bark Da Ripper" $20 (advance), VIP $30

Tavern On The Lake

101 Main St. Hightstown

(609) 426-9345

Fri. 9 p.m. FarCry

Sat. 9 p.m. WarHammer

Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night 

The HOB Tavern

146 Second Street

(609) 291-7020

 Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke

The Ivy Inn

248 Nassau St. Princeton

(609) 921-8555

 Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron

Fri. 10 p.m. River Dogs

Sat. 10 p.m. El Ka Bong

Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv

Wed. (8:30 p.m.) Tune Trivia (10:30 p.m.) DJ Rockn Ron

The Record Collector

358 Farnsworth Ave. Bordentown

(609) 324-0880

Fri. 8 p.m.  Popa Chubby. All ages, Doors 7:30 p.m., $20 (advance)

Sat. 8 p.m. Ricky Byrd & Deuces Wild / Voodoo Fix. All ages, Doors at 7:30 p.m., $12 (advance)

Sun. 8 p.m. Wishbone Ash. All ages, Doors at 7:30 p.m., $35 (advance). 

The Sticky Wicket 

2465 South Broad St. Hamilton

(609) 439-0007

Fri. 9 p.m. Never Enough

Sat. 9 p.m. Radio Fiction

The Sun National Bank Center 

81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 656-3200

 Check web site for upcoming events

Tir Na Nog 

1324 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 392-2554

Fri. 9 p.m. Mike Brill

All shows  21+

Trenton Buzz

702 Pine St. Trenton

(609) 392-6000

 Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Hek Cat

Trenton Social

449 South Broad Street Trenton

(609) 989-7777

 Thurs. 8:30 p.m. Cinema Thursday Presents: (TBA)

Fri. 7 p.m. First Friday Presents: "Old Work Meets New" by Howard Michaels

Mon. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P

Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic.

Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)

400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.

(215) 862-8300

Fri. 10 p.m. Apache Trails. ($5 cover charge)

Sat. 10 p.m. Suburban Living. ($5 cover charge)

Sun. 7 p.m. Open Jam Night (Sign ups 6:30 p.m.)

Tues. 9 p.m. The Crane Wives

All shows 21+

Wildflowers Inn

2572 Pennington Rd. Pennington

Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock 

All shows 21+

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.



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