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Old Town Temecula Bluegrass Festival

Special ConsensusTemecula, CA -- Grammy Nominees, The Special Consensus will headline the 13th Annual Old Town Temecula Bluegrass Festival March 16 and 17. Their album "Scratch Gravel Road" received a Grammy nomination for the 2012 Bluegrass Album of the Year. Known as the best free festival on the west coast by bluegrass fans, this year's Festival features 11 scheduled bands and dozens of impromptu performances throughout the six block town.

"We were very surprised and honored that Scratch Gravel Road was announced as a Grammy nominee for Best Bluegrass Album on Wednesday, December 5, 2012. This is the first time that any of the band's sixteen recordings has been on the "final five" nomination list, making it the first time for an official Grammy nomination," the band stated on their website.

The Special Consensus is a four person acoustic bluegrass band that began performing in the Midwest in the spring of 1975. The first band album was released in 1979 when the band began touring on a national basis. In 1984, The Special Consensus initiated the Traditional American Music (TAM) Program in schools across the country and began appearing on cable television and National Public Radio shows. The band has since appeared on The Nashville Network "Fire On The Mountain" show, toured for three seasons as 4/5 of the cast in the musical Cotton Patch Gospel (music and lyrics by Harry Chapin), and released fourteen additional recordings.

Co-founder Greg Cahill was awarded the prestigious IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award in 2011. The band includes Rick Faris, David Thomas and Dustin Benson. Faris began playing with his family band in 1998. The Faris Family band toured extensively throughout the USA and Canada and was awarded Traditional Bluegrass Group of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year and Entertaining Group of the Year several times by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA). Rick was awarded the SPBGMA Midwest Guitar Performer of the Year in 2005 and 2008. Benson was nominated for Guitar Player of the Year by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) in 2010 and he endorses Mike Long guitars.

Well-loved at the Temecula Festival, Bluegrass Etc. with Dennis Caplinger returns to co-headline the event. Bluegrass Etc. a nationally known band that includes Caplinger, John Moore on mandolin, guitar and vocals, and Bill Bryson on bass and vocals.

A crowd pleaser and known for their stage personality and high energy, Bluegrass Etc. performs a hard-hitting show of instrumental expertise and vocal precision. Caplinger is a multi-talented musician who has toured and recorded with a variety of top artists including Eric Clapton, Vince Gill, Byron Berline, Dan Crary, Chris Thile, Sean Watkins, Kevin Welch, Ray Price, and Rita Coolidge. He has worked on countless jingles, commercials, cartoons (Pinky and the Brain) and movie soundtracks. Bryson played with the Desert Rose Band.

Also performing during the two day event is Scott Gates and Salty Suites. 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 which was picked up by Disney.

The Festival lineup includes local favorites Silverado Bluegrass, Irish/Bluegrass Sligo Rags and The Wimberly's a family band often seen busking during the festival. Tail Draggers, Sweet Tidings, Next Generation, Old Haywire and Bluegrass Brethren fill out the remainder of the lineup.

Concerts are free Saturday, March 16, and Sunday, March 17 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on two stages. A unique concert featuring The Special Consensus, Bluegrass Etc and Silverado is at 7 pm., Saturday indoors on the Old Town Temecula Community Theater stage. Tickets are $15 and $20, and available at www.temeculatheater.org. The evening concert usually sells out.

"Pickers" (Bluegrassers’ term for musicians) jam anywhere along the walkways of Old Town Temecula. It is of the most unique aspects of the event as musicians of varying skills just strike up a band and begin playing familiar reels.

Free workshops during the weekend are held in the Mercantile and help instigate the free flow of jamming around town. Band members lead the workshops and provide the audience a chance to pick and play with their favorites

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. RV parking is available in town for $30 for the weekend. Reservations are recommended at (951) 678-0831. For more information call (951) 678-1456 or visit www.TemeculaCalifornia.com.

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