One of the bands carrying the torch for quality rock have announced their first annual immersive program for aspiring musicians of all ages and levels. The Winery Dogs, Richie Kotzen, Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan are bringing ‘Dog Camp’ to the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY this July 21-25.
The event will be produced by Dreamcatcher Events, and campers will get the opportunity to get up close and personal with The Winery Dogs, with instrument-specific and songwriting mechanics clinics, and there will be special intimate performances and jam sessions from The Winery Dogs and other special guests.
Tickets for Dog Camp are on sale now at www.winerydogcamp.com. Attendees will have access to all workshops, seminars, gourmet meals, performances, jam sessions, and camp activities. The band has also set up a facebook page for the event as well: www.facebook.com/WineryDogCamp
“We’ve all done clinics over the years, but it’s always been something that’s primarily centered around one instrument that each of us has typically done on an individual basis,” says drummer Portnoy. “Dog Camp is the first time that any of us have hosted or participated in a true ‘Band Camp.’ As a result of that, we’ve got some incredible surprises in store for everybody attending.”
“We’ll be living together, hanging together, and jamming together,” Portnoy continues. “We want you to ask as many questions as possible, and we’re going to engage you on a one-on-one basis to help you realize your goals as a player.”
“Having a band-taught class is a unique concept,” says Kotzen. “We’re a unique band in the sense that we’re all very strong personalities in the way we play. When Billy plays the bass, you know it’s Billy Sheehan. He has his thing. It’s the same thing with Mike. I’d like to think the same about myself! As individuals, we have personalities, but when we come together, it creates something else. This is something that’s so cool to explore in a clinic or class setting.”
One of the things that we’re all looking forward to is the performance aspect. We’re going to play live for you, giving a series of very intimate concerts. This is the best way to see The Winery Dogs, and we’re going to bring it. It’s about to get rowdy.
“What’s interesting is to talk about music, concepts, objectives, reasons why you’re playing the instrument, what you want to achieve, and how to get to that point, rather than talking about major versus minor scales. I love that feeling of sharing concepts with people. In The Winery Dogs, we all have various experiences that a lot of other people don’t have. It’s an opportunity to share that and grow; the feeling of moving forward and learning and experiencing something new. That’s what excites me about Dog Camp. It’s the creative process and creativity that make me want to do music, and I want to share that.”
“I want to emphasize that players should keep an eye on what we’re doing and why during the performances,” adds bassist Sheehan. “In between songs or mid-song, I want to stop to make a point about what’s going on and why. The expertise of being able to play ensemble is a bit of a lost art with kids today. They don’t do what we did when we were growing up. Right away, we just got in a band whether we could play or not. Now, kids want to get up to a level of expertise and then join a band.”
“[During the seminars] I like to have back-and-forth communication,” Sheehan continues. “I want to speak with people and hear their opinions, disagreements, and challenges. I believe anyone who attends will see a jumpstart in their quest to achieve their dreams.”
There is different pricing options and all activities will be held at the one hundred-acre Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY. Accomodations include comfortable, rustic country-inn accommodations and tent camping. There is a spring-fed swimming pool, on-site access to the Esopus Creek, and you can explore the splendors of the Catskills on the nearby network of hiking trails. Dedicated to the celebration of nature, music and the arts, this wonderland of mountains, fields, and streams is a world of its own.
The Winery Dogs are set to release two new special versions of their self-titled and self-produced debut album this April. ‘The Winery Dogs Special Edition’ will be comprised of two CDs. Disc 1 is the standard album and Disc 2 is the live ‘Unleashed In Japan 2013’, with 10 songs recorded live in Japan during their tour this past July, The track ‘Criminal,’ previously unavailable in the U.S., along with a 16-page booklet of live photos and lyrics will also be a part of the release. ‘Dog Treats: The Winery Dogs Deluxe Special Edition’ will be sold in a box resembling a box of dog treats, Special Edition release, a DVD featuring four music videos with interview footage, demos from the original recording sessions, a studio diary written by Mike Portnoy, and some unique merchandise unavailable elsewhere.