The Winery Dogs host Dog Camp this summer

The Winery Dogs — drummer Mike Portnoy, bassist Billy Sheean, guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen — are hosting their first annual “Dog Camp” this summer.

The immersive program for aspiring musicians of all ages and levels will take over Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY from July 21 – 25, and will give campers the opportunity to get up close and personal with the three musical legends as they attend instrument-specific clinics, learn songwriting mechanics, attend classes featuring sessions led by each band member, and enjoy intimate performances by the trio.

Portnoy explains, “I actually stopped doing clinics about eleven years ago because I needed a break from the standard format. That’s what’s so cool about Dog Camp though. It’s not typical by any stretch of the imagination. It’s about learning how to be in a band and succeed as a unit. We wanted to do this together and give everybody an experience they’ll never forget. I can’t wait to see, hang, and jam with everybody there this summer.”

During the band classes, campers will learn more about the craft of songwriting where the trio answer any and all questions about the music industry.

The band claims, “We’ll be living together, hanging together, and jamming together. 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.”

The Winery Dogs will also perform several intimate shows throughout the four day camp which will allow each member to explain the techniques they used in the songs they’re performing.

“We wanted to do this together and give everybody an experience they’ll never forget. I can’t wait to see, hang, and jam with everybody there this summer.”

“I want to emphasize that players should keep an eye on what we’re doing and why during the performances,” adds Sheehan. “In between songs or mid-song, I want to stop to make a point about what’s going on and why. This is what happens. This is how it got here. This is why you need to know this. The ensemble playing and 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. We were in bands before we knew how to play. Now, kids want to get up to a level of expertise and then join the band. The band experience is where I got everything I have. That’s the focal point of the performances.”

Guest performances are also expected throughout the week as well by some of the band’s most famous friends, although no names were identified.

Pricing starts at $1,499 per person and are all-inclusive with single and double occupancy rooms available, all meals, free parking, all workshops and sessions, use of rehearsal spaces, a welcome kit with lots of goodies, nightly concerts, and a commemorative limited edition poster.

Campers are responsible for their own travel to and from the resort and must bring their own instruments, gear and accessories. Registration is available for the entire event only. No day passes or partial attendance registrations are available. You can register by visiting

The Winery Dogs will reissue their self-titled debut album in two expanded deluxe editions in April.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.