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THE WINERY DOGS will go back into hibernation for foreseeable future after MIKE PORTNOY's return to DREAM THEATER

Photo credit: Travis Shinn


In a new interview with The Hook Rocks podcast, Richie Kotzen spoke about his decision to release a new solo single, “Cheap Shots”, earlier this month after completing nearly a hundred shows in support of THE WINERY DOGS‘ third album, last year’s “III”. He said: “I was of mind to follow course with THE WINERY DOGS as we were. We made the (‘III’) album, we did 95 shows and I was of mind to just keep going. And then, obviously, Mike (PortnoyTHE WINERY DOGS drummer) had the opportunity to go back to DREAM THEATER. And so we had a conversation and, obviously, Billy (SheehanTHE WINERY DOGS bassist) and I were very supportive because we love Mike. The attitude is we love having the band, but as people, the people are more important. So if Mike has something that is dear to him and important that he is excited and motivated to do, then, obviously, that’s what he needs to do. So we had the conversation that he had our full support, we think it’s great. It’s exciting, actually, as a music fan. Forget about THE WINERY DOGS for a second and me, but as a music fan, it’s exciting. So, that’s why the touring, we put a period on it.”

He continued: “Unlike where I was at previously (when THE WINERY DOGS went on a three-year hiatus in 2016), I can say that I was of mind to stay the course and keep going. But that’s not where we are. And so I came home and went back to looking at the ideas that I had, and I had over 300 audio files in my recorder app. And I started listening to things, and I moved them all into my desktop computer and I started listening to things and I found one, two, three, four, five. ‘Wow, I’ve got some really cool things to work with here. Let me develop it.’ And now here I am with a new single out and I’ve got tour dates booked. I’m going to Europe in June. I’m gonna be touring extensively in North America starting in September and I’m gonna release a solo album in the fall. So everything works the way it’s gonna work. You’re dealt your cards and you play your hand. And so here we are. And I feel great. I feel really great about it. I feel great about what we did last year with THE WINERY DOGS. I’m completely fine with the fact that the DOGS will go back into hibernation for the foreseeable future. I’m fine with now going back to doing what it was that I was doing before. I’m very comfortable there — very inspired to do it. And Adrian and I also have some new music and we’re making plans. So the future is very bright and very inspired.”

“III” was released in February 2023 on THE WINERY DOGS‘ Three Dog Music label (via Burnside Distribution/The Orchard) and is available on all digital formats. The first two videos from “III”“Mad World” and “Xanadu”, were filmed in Los Angeles in November 2022.

“III” track listing:

01. Xanadu
02. Mad World
03. Breakthrough
04. Rise
05. Stars
06. The Vengeance
07. Pharaoh
08. Gaslight
09. Lorelei
10. The Red Wine

In addition to the new music, fans will also be excited to hear that THE WINERY DOGS is hitting the worldwide concert trail starting February 15 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania at the Palace Theatre for their “202III World Tour”. Ticket and VIP package info can be found on the band’s official web site.

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