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The Winery Dogs: Hot Streak

Dogs got legs.

Like so many supergroup hook-ups over the last decade, the Winery Dogs didn’t exactly exude permanence. Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr Big), Billy Sheehan (Dave Lee Roth, Mr Big) and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) are restless rockers, but something clicked: their debut album exceeded the sum of the parts and their gigs proved the chemistry didn’t dissolve.

So two years later, here they are again. Hot Streak lives up to its name. It also takes a broader musical approach, without compromising the band’s core style.

After the fiery, jazzy riffs and thunderous double bass drumming of the opening Oblivion, there’s a funky smear over the groove-laden Captain Love and the vibrant title track.

Kotzen’s voice still veers between Sammy Hagar and David Coverdale, and his guitar explores the delights of flamenco and the wah-wah pedal. Meanwhile, Portnoy and Sheehan are at that telepathic stage of finishing each other’s phrases. More like a band than a project, then.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.