Seasoned veterans, young musicians, and bluegrass fans with guitars will fill the streets of Old Town Temecula March 20-21 during the 10th annual Bluegrass Festival. The free event is a hay day for musicians looking for a band as jam sessions break out on every corner and under every shady eve. Free workshops attract musicians of all skill levels to the Festival.
“This means you watch and learn from top musicians like Dennis Caplinger and Al Munde,” stated organizer Melody Brunsting.
Caplinger, a Grammy award-winner, is a multi-talented musician who has toured and recorded with many different artists including Bluegrass Etc., Vince Gill, Eric Clapton, Kenny Loggins, Juice Newton, B.J. Thomas, America, Byron Berline, Dan Crary, Richard Greene, Chris Thile, Sean Watkins, Ray Price, Rita Coolidge, and The Academy of Country Music Awards Show Band. His movie soundtrack credits include “Back to the Future III”, “El Diablo”, “Rio Diablo” and Steven King’s “Apt Pupil.” Caplinger’s playing is regularly featured on the HBO hit series “Deadwood”, Fox’s “The Simpsons”, Warner Bros. cartoons “Pinky and the Brain” and “Histeria”, as well as on numerous programs on PBS, A&E, TNN, Biography and The History Channel.
Munde made his mark inbBluegrass beginning in 1972 as a member of the Flying Burrito Brothers performing with Byron Berline. After a European tour, the Burritos split up and Munde joined Country Gazette, then consisting of Roger Bush on bass, Kenny Wertz on guitar, and fiddler Byron Berline. Later in 1977, Munde and mandolinist Sam Bush recorded "Together again for the first time" with Roland White, Curtis Burch and John Cowan (both members of legendary "Newgrass Revival" with Sam Bush).
Munde and Caplinger will lead a banjo workshop on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Mercantile. Other workshops include Guitar with Elliot Rogers of Al Munde Gazette, Fiddle with Sligo Rags fiddler Michael Kelly, and a band workshop with the incredibly tight and popular Silverado Bluegrass Band. Andy Reilly, an award winning percussionist who has toured with River Dance will teach a Bodhrain workshop Sunday at 2 p.m. Other Sunday workshops include one with the Hunt Family Band and Jam Etiquette. http://www.alanmundegazette.com/
Alan Munde Gazette headlines the Festival. Bandleader Munde’s long, rich history in the bluegrass community has solidified him as the one the world’s foremost five-string banjo players. He brings his Gazette band of Elliott Rogers-Guitar/Vocal, Bill Honker-Bass/Vocal, Steve Smith-Mandolin/Vocal, and Nate Lee-Fiddle/Vocal. Gazette will play twice Saturday and Sunday of the event.
The band is also part of a three-act concert Saturday evening, 7 p.m., indoors at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater. On the same billing are Bluegrass Etc., and Silverado Bluegrass Festival. Tickets are $15 and $10 for balcony seats.
Also performing outdoors are: Bluegrass Etc., Lonesome Otis, Even So, Sligo Rags, Hunt Family Bluegrass, Gone Tomorrow, the Silverado Bluegrass Band, Older than Dirt, Old Haywire, and Highway 76 Bluegrass Band. Bands perform on two stages from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. All outdoor concerts, workshops and jam sessions are free. Daytime concerts in the theater Saturday are also free.
Sunday offers Bluegrass Brethren in a free gospel concert at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater, plus a 3 p.m. matinee featuring Alan Munde Gazette and Sligo Rags. This concert is $5 while concerts outdoors remain free.
Sligo Rags with entertaining and energetic fiddler Michael Kelly and Dublin percussionist Andy Reilly are crowd favorites in Temecula. An Irish band by nature, Sligo Rags injects their Irish overtones to create a unique brand of bluegrass, original tunes and unusual interpretations of popular rock, folk and bluegrass favorites.
Organizers have added a free concert Friday evening plus a jam session at Embassy Suites in Temecula from 5-7 p.m. Highway 138 will perform from 7-9 at Sweet Lumpy’s. Old Haywire performs at Palumbos on Saturday from 12-3 p.m. Both restaurants are in Old Town and admission is free. All workshops are held in the “Merc” at 42051 Main Street and are free.
Tickets for Saturday’s evening concert and Sunday’s matinee in the Old Town Temecula Community Theater can be purchased at http://www.temeculatheater.org/
To visit the cultural district of Old Town Temecula take the 15 Freeway to Rancho California Road or Highway 79 south and follow the signs leading to Old Town Front Street. Public parking is free. For information call (951) 693-3952 or visit http://www.temeculacalfiornia.com/