Workshops to be held during Temecula’s Bluegrass Festival

TEMECULA – Is there a songwriter hidden deep inside? Perhaps a guitar sits lonely in a spare room and just needs you to keep it company? Free music workshops from the pros of the 2014 Old Town Temecula Bluegrass Festival are being offered at The Merc this coming weekend.

Grammy nominees James King Band will headline the 14th Annual Old Town Temecula Bluegrass Festival on March 15 and 16. Their album “Three Chords and the Truth” received a Grammy nomination for the 2013 Bluegrass Album of the Year.

The workshops are first come-first serve, no reservations required and are free. Students and fans of the performers are encouraged to arrive at The Merc (42051 Main Street) early.

Saturday workshops are at from noon to 3 p.m. Each workshop is one hour. Salty Suites will teach a song writing and original tunes workshop at noon, followed by Dennis Caplinger on banjo and then John Moore on guitar. Sunday’s workshop is at 11 a.m. with Scott Gates teaching


The Merc will then be available for “Open Jam.” 3rd Street Bluegrass Band will play a set at 1 p.m.

Bluegrass Etc. with Dennis Caplinger is a crowd favorite at the festival. Considered the host band to this unique event, Bluegrass Etc. is a nationally known band that includes Caplinger, John Moore on mandolin, guitar and vocals, and Steve Spurgin on bass guitar and vocals.

Also performing during the two day event is Salty Suites. Bandleader Scott Gates performed first at the festival in 2008 with this teen band “Pacific Ocean Bluegrass.”

Having performed with John McEuen, Nathan McEuen, Steve Martin and the Nitty Gritty Dirt band, Gates is now a seasoned performer who has appeared with Steve Martin on the Ellen Show, and recorded with Kenny Loggins on the family album “All Join In” which was picked up by Disney.

The festival lineup includes local favorites Bluegrass Etc., Silverado Bluegrass, Next Generation, 3rd Street Bluegrass, Old Town Road Bluegrass, Bluegrass Brethren, The Wimberleys, Sligo Rags, Old Haywire and the Jamie Olsen Band.

Concerts are free Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on two stages. Vendors including musical instruments, will also be at the festival.

A unique concert featuring The James King Band, Bluegrass Etc and Silverado is at 7 p.m. on Saturday on the Old Town Temecula Community Theater stage. Tickets can be purchased at

For more information, call (951) 678-1456.

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