Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Winery Dogs Are Back And On A 'Hot Steak'

The Winery Dogs (Richie Kotzen Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan) have released a second self-produced album called Hot Streak on Loud & Proud Records. The first single, “Oblivion,” released on August 25, went to #23 on Billboard's "Mainstream Rock Tracks" chart.  A video for the song is forthcoming and a double vinyl edition of the new album is also in the works for release in early November. The trio's 2015-2016 U.S. headlining tour is now underway.

Hot Streak shows the band's initial burst of collective chemistry was no accident, from the strum and headbang of “Captain Love” to the propulsive uplifting vibe of “The Bridge” to the introspective acoustic harmonic convergence of “Fire.” If they thought they captured lightning in a supper dish the first time around, Hot Streak barks ups the aural ante into exciting new territory.

The trio first exploded onto the rock scene with their self-titled, self-produced debut album, released July 23, 2013 on Loud & Proud Records.  A worldwide tour followed.  The Winery Dogs debuted on Billboard’s “Top Alternative Albums” chart at #3, “Top Independent Albums” chart at #4, “Top Rock Albums” chart at #5, “Top Internet Albums” at #8 and “Top 200 Albums” chart at #27.

“I feel we’ve taken the band to another level,” explains singer/guitarist Richie Kotzen. “The compositions are stronger on this album. I feel more connected lyrically and musically to what I did on this record than on the last one. We’ve widened the musical scope of the band on this record and moved it forward."

Drummer Mike Portnoy continues, “Everything on this album was more of a collaboration than on the first album. There’s just a natural chemistry. The three of us really mesh very, very well, both musically and personally. The mission of this band is to write catchy songs, and not have the musicianship overpower that.”

“I’m glad we’re not playing it safe and just doing songs that automatically fit in the category of what we did on the first record,” bassist Billy Sheehan concludes. “Some of them are a little different, and we definitely took chances. And you have to do that — otherwise, you don’t grow."

The Winery Dogs are now on tour through November 8. See the full schedule below.

10/3 - Ridgefield Playhouse - Ridgefield, CT            
10/4 - Penn’s Peak - Jim Thorpe, PA          
10/5 - Wilbur Theater - Boston, MA                
10/8 - Keswick Theater - Glenside, PA              
10/9 - Starland Ballroom - Sayreville, NJ              
10/10 - Best Buy Theater - New York, NY            
10/12 - Variety Playhouse - Atlanta, GA                
10/14 - Ponte Verde Concert Hall - Jacksonville, FL                      
10/15 - State Theater - Tampa, FL                  
10/16 - Culture Room - Ft. Lauderdale, FL      
10/17 - The Plaza Live - Orlando, FL                
10/20 - Wildhorse Saloon - Nashville, TN              
10/22 - Pub Fountains - Houston, TX                
10/23 - Heritage Hall - Ardmore, OK              
10/24 - The Gas Monkey - Dallas, TX                  
10/27 - Potowatami Casino - Milwaukee, WI            
10/28 - Potowatami Casino - Milwaukee, WI            
10/29 - Arcada Theater - St. Charles, IL            
10/31 - Marquis Theater - Denver, CO                
11/2 - Rock Bar - San Jose, CA              
11/3 - House of Blues - Anaheim, CA              
11/5 - Canyon Club - Agoura Hills, CA          
11/6 - Saban Theater - Beverly Hills, CA        
11/7 - Vamp’d - Las Vegas, NV
11/8 - House of Blues - San Diego, CA

Find out more about the Winery Dogs at the following:          

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Intelligent Music Project III Album Features Toto’s Joseph Williams, Simon Phillips & Ex-Asia Singer John Payne

A year after releasing the all-star project My Kind O’ Lovin’, producer and composer Milen Vrabevski returns to fulfill, as earlier claimed, his promise and ambition with Intelligent Music Project III 's Touching The Divine.

The new album features session legends Simon Phillips and Tim Pierce, and Nathan East courtesy of YEG. Тhe production concept relies again on two project launchers – guest stars John Payne (ex-Asia) and Toto’s Joseph Williams.

“It’s wonderful to explore working with Milen," Williams remarked. "The project has a wonderful message, accompanied with some beautiful music and some great rock ‘n’ roll – the musicians in this project are top-noch.”

Musically Touching The Divine delivers a thrilling example of straightforward songwriting combined with rich and layered sound and gently executed dynamic spins. The first single "Mind Projection" is a melodic and energetic slice of AOR, scored with John Payne’s powerful vocal arrangement and virtuoso instrumental charge, that lets you in deeper to the magic ingredient of this sophisticated project. Bass great Nathan East and fabulous Simon Phillips stamp their own authority in this piece, as well on the record throughout.

Full creative input by all guest stars in the project. Recording sessions took place at Simon Phillips’ Phantom recordings (Williams, Pierce, Phillips and East) and at Intelligent Music Studios in Sofia (Payne, Pierce and vocals from Carl Sentance, recently appointed as Nazareth’s lead singer). Says Simon, “Music is an universal language. It’s really a blessing to have the opportunity to work with musicians from around the world.”

"Mind Projection" brings together once again the positive idea of the producer and composer Milen Vrabevski, that following the true excitement of our hearts and souls will give us the key to living a conscious live and to spiritual satisfaction, we often call happiness. Says Nathan, “This project is very special to me, because of the nature of the message of the project. I was very inspired and happy with the idea, because the message has value and meaning and I am about that. The word ‘inspirational’ is what I use to describe this project.”

John Payne, who continues his 14 year legacy as “ASIA Featuring John Payne,” says, “Doing this project with Milen – it has been great, really – these songs have a lot of structure and melody. It’s a very mature project, it’s a very intelligent project for the mind.”

Vrabevski adds, “I believe we managed to deliver an astonishing sound once again and it will delight the ears and sound systems of hardcore rockers all around the world. Bearing in mind the top-notch level of our guest stars, I allowed myself mainly to record the acoustic guitar of the first single "Mind Projection."

Intelligent Music Project III – Touching The Divine
Author and producer – Milen Vrabevski, MD
Simon Phillips – drums and percussion
Nathan East (appears courtesy of Yamaha Entertainment Group) – bass
John Payne – lead & backing vocals
Joseph Williams – lead & backing vocals
Carl Sentance – backing vocals & ad-lib, lead vocal part on 7
Tim Pierce – guitars

For more information:

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2016 NAMM TEC Awards Nominations Announced

The NAMM Foundation announces nominees for its 31st Annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards in the categories of Outstanding Technical and Creative Achievement. The awards celebrate the best in professional audio and sound production. Voting begins December 1st, with winners announced at a Saturday evening, January 23, 2016 awards event held in the Anaheim Hilton’s Pacific Ballroom and via a live event web stream during the 2016 NAMM Show.

“The story of our industry, and for that matter, the story of NAMM is not some sterile business-school myth,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. “It is the story of passionate individuals who followed their dreams and against all obstacles persevered and succeeded in making the world a more musical place. The TEC Awards and the TEC Hall of Fame honors these pioneers for their vision and service and we are grateful for their contributions.”

An eye toward the future marks this year’s technical nominees who have designed products, tools and new software solutions that take music and audio production to the next level.

In the category of Audio Apps for Smartphones & Tablets, companies with technology that extends the reach and connectivity of concert sound systems in venues of all sizes are nominated. Those brands include Allen & Heath’s Qu-Pad App, Meyer Sound’s Compass Go, JBL Professional’s SRX Connect and other manufacturers’ products that break down barriers between studio and live production.

Legacy products rule in the Musical Instrument Hardware category. Classic synthesizer designs including MOOG’s Modular Recreation, Korg’s ARP Odyssey and Dave Smith Instruments’ Sequential Prophet-6 show that state-of-the-art technology can advance while still creating iconic sound.

In the category of Workstation Technology, nominated products that include Avid’s Pro Tools 12 feature advance computer-based technologies and user accessibility. Apple, PreSonus, SoundMAGIC, Steinberg and Waves Audio are also up for TEC Award consideration.

There are eight categories for Outstanding Creative Achievement that include TV Sound Production (“Game of Thrones,” “Nashville,” etc.); Film Sound Production (American Sniper, Birdman, etc.); Record Production/Single or Track (“Baltimore” from Prince, “Dreams” from Beck, etc.) and more.

The founders of Record Plant will be inducted into the NAMM TEC Hall of Fame for their exemplary work in capturing iconic music that stretches across generations of the American musical experience, including Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life,” The Eagles’ “Hotel California” and live recordings captured with the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton. At the helm of three Record Plant studios were Chris Stone and the late Gary Kellgren. Their New York-based Studio A was the first studio designed for mixing quadraphonic (surround) sound.

Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter, whose guitar licks with Steely Dan, the Doobie Brothers and many more are included on the shelves of music’s most successful discographies, will be inducted into the NAMM TEC Hall of Fame for his myriad contributions to music. A sought-after solo and session player, Baxter’s career fluidly moves between a mixture of genres from pop to country to rock, fusion and beyond.

In total, winners in more than 30 categories will be selected from the 180 nominees. Winners will be selected by voters from major pro audio publications including Mix, Pro Sound News, Pro Audio Review, Sound & Video Contractor and Electronic Musician magazines, as well as members of the Producers & Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy, Game Audio Network Guild and select NAMM members.  The January 23 event begins with a reception at 6PM, followed by the awards ceremony at 7PM. Tickets are available to purchase now at

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Judge Curbs Boston's Tom Scholz Lawsuit Vs Former Guitarist Barry Goudreau

A federal judge on Monday dismissed most of a lawsuit in which Tom Scholz, the founder of the rock band Boston, accused former bandmate and guitarist Barry Goudreau of trademark infringement over the use of the band's name.

Goudreau played on Boston's self-titled 1976 debut album, which sold more than 17 million copies and contained the song "More Than A Feeling," and the 1978 follow-up Don't Look Back.

Scholz accused him of repeatedly violating a 1983 agreement over royalties that let Goudreau use the phrase "formerly of Boston" in marketing. He said Goudreau was instead advertised as an "original" Boston member, "playing the hits of Boston" and "lead guitarist rock legend from the band Boston."

U.S. District Judge Denise Casper in Boston dismissed 11 of Scholz's 13 claims. She said Goudreau "has not directly infringed Scholz's trademarks" in marketing his performances, and that his website was unlikely to confuse viewers.

She let Scholz pursue two claims over Goudreau's work with the band Ernie and the Automatics, including whether Goudreau had "direct control and monitoring" over promotions.

Casper also let Goudreau pursue three counterclaims, including that Scholz's restrictions breached the royalty agreement.

Erik Belt, a lawyer for Scholz, was not immediately available for comment.

Goudreau's lawyer, Joe Messina, said "we are very pleased" with the decision, and that he expects his client will have no liability on the two surviving claims.

In August 2013, a federal judge in Seattle rejected Scholz's effort to stop two other onetime bandmates, Fran Cosmo and his son Anthony, from marketing themselves as former Boston members. That lawsuit was later amended, and ultimately dismissed.

The case is Scholz v Goudreau, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 13-10951.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Beatles' First Recording Contract Sells for More Than $90K

A New York auction house says it has sold the first recording contract ever signed by the Beatles for more than $90,000.

Heritage Auctions says the 1961 contract was for a recording of a rock and roll version of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean."

The single from the recording session in Hamburg was released only in Germany. But it led to the Beatles being discovered by manager Brian Epstein.

The session was before Ringo Starr joined the Beatles. Drummer Pete Best signed the contract along with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

The contract was sold Saturday by the estate of German Beatles collector Uwe Blaschke.

Heritage Auctions did not identify the buyer, who paid $93,750.