The Winery Dogs Take Their “III” Tour To Sony Hall 2-21-23

As you may have read in my bio, I dont consider myself a “critic” or concert “reviewer” per se. Truth be told, Im not very good at regurgitating cliche after cliche; I enjoy reliving the “experience” and my relation to the band and how their music affects me personally.  Having said that…!

I finally had the chance to meet the great Billy Sheehan as he and Talas came to NYC’s Iridium Jazz Club.  I was fortunate enough to befriend the owner at the time, Ron Sturm and had access to the backstage area where Billy, Kire, Mark and the late Phil Naro, along with the late Seb Mareno were relaxing until show-time.  Billy was busy blistering away on the fretboard warming up for an incredible night of music from Talas V2!

A few months later I had the pleasure of being asked to be the VIP photographer for Richie Kotzen when he came to town and performed at the Iridium along with fellow photographer, Jim Belmont.  Richie sat with his wife Julia in the green room where I introduced myself and explained how the Meet & Greet would proceed for the evening.  Once the M&G was over, we headed to the seats. Unfortunately the manager had asked that I move to the bar area so that other VIP’s could be accommodated.  It was a pleasure to be moved where I would be sitting next to Julia for the evening!  She had made me laugh at one point when she expressed how she loved all of Richies “stank” faces that he makes while playing guitar!  Challenge accepted!  I hadnt previously posted such photos as I felt they werent very appealing and thought Richie wouldnt find them very attractive.  I still followed through with Julia’s wishes and emailed a few of the photos she asked for.

Unfortunately I have yet to meet Mr Portnoy! But having shot him as many times as I have, you would think I would have by now; twice with Sons of Apollo, once with Neal Morse Band and again with John Petrucci. One of these days, Mike, one of these days!

They opened their set with “Gaslight” then ripped right into “Xanadu” , their first single/video from their latest album “III”.  They continued the setlist with: “Captain Love”, “Hot Streak”, “Desire”, “Breakthrough”, “Time Machine”, “Stars”, “Damaged”, “Mad World”, and “The Other Side”, before Billy took a few minutes to deliver a blistering 4:00 bass solo, from there they continued with “I’m No Angel”, “The Red Wine” featuring Billy’s merlot colored acrylic bass complete with cork knobs. “Oblivion” finished the set before they ended the night with an encore featuring “Regret” & “Elevate”.

The tour rounds down their North American leg on April 6th in Nashville, TN, where Billy now calls home  so be sure not to miss your chance to catch a show near you. For more information on the Winery Dogs check out

Thanks to Amanda Cagan for the opportunity to review my experience of a great performance.  Here are a few highlights from Sony Hall.

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