The Winery Dogs -- image credit: Jamel Toppin

If you’re not hip to The Winery Dogs yet, you’ve got a bit of catching up to do. Luckily, the band — which features the combined powers of Richie Kotzen on guitar/vocals, Billy Sheehan on bass and Mike Portnoy on drums — are here to help you out a bit. In this exclusive video interview, you’ll hear the story behind the band and how it all came together.

With the release of their self-titled debut album in 2013, The Winery Dogs quickly headed out on a headlining tour and found themselves playing to packed rooms all over the world and they weren’t coasting on their past reputations — the fans had heard — and memorized every inch of the material from that debut album. Appropriately, the setlist focused heavily on that first record and as anyone who saw those initial shows can tell you, it was clear that this band was onto something.

Two years later, The Winery Dogs have returned with the second part of their story, the appropriately named Hot Streak album and as you might expect, it’s an album that takes things up quite a few notches. It’s also not surprising to find out from Kotzen that they weren’t willing to settle for anything less than that.

“We elevated the band to the next level,” he says. “I wasn’t nervous about it at all. There’s always that worry with a follow-up record when you have a first one that’s so well received, but I believed in it from day one. I knew in my heart if we made a record that wasn’t as good as the first one that we wouldn’t release it, but I know I did my best on every song. I also like the fact that there’s a commonality between the first and second records — and there’s also an evolution too, as we’ve dug a little deeper.”

Hot Streak is available now and the band is once again out on the road for another extensive tour. You can find tour dates and more information at the band’s official website.