kotzensheehanport Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan and Richie Kotzen of The Winery Dogs have announced Dog Camp, their first annual immersive program for aspiring musicians of all ages and levels, set for July 21st-25th, 2014 at Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY.

Produced by Dreamcatcher Events, this special vacation experience offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with the three legends as campers attend instrument-specific clinics, learn songwriting mechanics, and enjoy very special intimate performances and jam sessions from The Winery Dogs and special guests. Look for the daily itinerary for Dog Camp to be announced in the coming weeks and check out a video from Mike Portnoy talking about Dog Camp below:

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.

“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.”

“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,” says lead vocalist/guitarist Kotzen. “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.”

Dog Camp offers a variety of pricing options, based on the variety of available accommodations. All activities will be held at Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY, which features an eclectic array of comfortable, rustic country-inn accommodations as well as primitive tent camping. All accommodations are just steps away from daily camp activities. Guests can enjoy the spring-fed swimming pool, on-site access to the Esopus Creek, and explore the splendors of the Catskills on the nearby network of hiking trails. Dedicated to the celebration of nature, music and the arts, this one hundred-acre wonderland of mountains, fields, and streams is a world of its own.

For more information, please visit www.winerydogcamp.com.


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  • John G on

    It really says a lot about the general state of “rock and roll” when musicians are doing camps, offering lessons on their websites and touring in large package deals. Dana, I could have a whole lot of fun goofing on this stuff, but I will take the high road and not say anything 🙂

    • Dana on


    • DR on

      Yes John, save it for the next Little Caesar post.

    • Dana on


      D 🙂

  • Scott on

    As a child/young teen, I can remember going to so many of these events, clinics, workshops, camps etc, that were free or very inexpensive….now, everything is a commodity and people are willing to pay…and pay dearly. The genie is out of the bottle. It’s sad. I only wish Gene Simmons would lose all of his money to a bad falafel vending machine deal and have to start all over by selling Mary Kay cosmetices.

  • Lee on

    When I saw Roger Daltrey doing a camp in L.A. it was mind boggling. No touring, no income. Ya gotta do what ya got to do.Being on a stage with Rob Halford in front, Rudy Sarzo to your left and you on guitar is mind boggling if you were one of 20,000 at a Quiet Riot or Priest show in ’84. I love it, I’d pay it. I remember going to a football camp run by Joe Namath….taking a 25 yard pass from the guy who won the super bowl was mind boggling, the ball almost knocked me over.

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