Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association


A Festival of Bluegrass & Old-Time Music & Dance
Fri-Sun, March 6-8, 2015, Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West, Plymouth MN



There are a variety of workshops in a variety of locations at the Winter Bluegrass Weekend. All are on Saturday. Listed below are four types: general interest workshops (upstairs in Studio 2), beginner instrument workshops (upstairs in Studio 3), workshops in the Gathering Place, and workshops in the Dance Hall. 


Saturday Studio 2 Upstairs

10:00 AM Introduction to Clawhammer Banjo with Quillan Roe

11:00 AM Blue Collar Bass with Eric Paulson. Eric's workshop is about how the bass player can play more than just the 1, 5, 1, 5 pattern, and still stay on beat, drive the music, and stay out of the way of the lead players. It includes how to be a serviceable bass player, and why that makes you an awesome bass player. Topics include groove, gear, and getting the gig.

12:00 PM Beginning Old-Time Fiddle with Nick Rowse. The Eelpout Stringer's Nick "Fin" Rowse will be teaching one or two easy tunes by ear, depending folk's interest. The focus will be primarily on bowing, which is at the heart of Old-Time fiddle music. Cross tunings will also be discussed and demonstrated.

1:00 PM Clawhammer Backup to Old-Time Fiddle with Craig Evans. By itself, clawhammer banjo is a beautiful thing. But did you know it can even make a fiddle sound good? Craig Evans, of the Eelpout Stringers, shares some of his learnings from Dwight Diller and other performers. Banjo players and fiddlers welcome. Taught to Liberty (D), Goin' Down to Cairo (G) and Ora Lee (G).

2:00 PM 4:00 PM The Art of Building A Great Set List and Why with Karl Burke. Having a great list of tunes and songs for your show is just part of a great concert. Learning how to take the audience on a dynamic musical journey is the rest of it. A good set list also helps keep your time on stage flowing easier. Taught by Karl Burke of the Eelpout Stringers. A handout will be included.

3:00 PM Performance Stagecraft with Karl Burke. Putting on a show is much more than just being able to play & sing well. There are lots of other facets to successful concerts, and connecting with audiences. Karl Burke, of the Eelpout Stringers, will cover most of these during the session, and send you home with a great handout to study with lots more helpful information.

4:00 PM Mandolin: Tricks, Licks, Tunes & Techniques with Nic Hentges & Justin Rosckes. Nic & Justin of No Man’s String Band will discuss, teach, and demonstrate the mandolin and its role in bluegrass music using various tricks, licks, tunes, and techniques.

Saturday Studio 3 Upstairs

1:00 PM Bluegrass Banjo with Bruce Johnson
2:00 PM Bluegrass Mandolin with Mark Briere
3:00 PM Bluegrass Bass with Holle Brian
4:00 PM Old-Time Banjo with John Wallace


Saturday 9:30 AM
Learn to Back Up Fiddlers. A workshop for mandolin, guitar, and banjo players from the Minnesota Fiddlers Association.

Saturday 9:30 AM
Southern Appalachian Fiddle Tunes. A workshop from the Minnesota Fiddlers Association.

Saturday 12:00 PM
Clogging Demo & Workshop with The Wild Goose Chase Cloggers

Saturday 1:15 PM
Fiddle Workshop with Stephanie Coleman (Red Squirrel Chasers)

Saturday 2:15 PM
Mandolin Workshop with Jim Collier (Red Squirrel Chasers)

Saturday 3:15 PM
Guitar Workshop with Jim Nelson (Red Squirrel Chasers)


Saturday 9:00 AM
Mandolin Workshop with Clay Hess and Nick Keen

Saturday 10:00 AM
Guitar Workshop with with Clay Hess and Mark Kreitzer


For advance tickets visit our ticket page.

To make the weekend a reality we will need to fill 140 volunteer shifts with many volunteers like you - people willing to do their part to make it happen. Would you be able to help us out for just a couple hours? Volunteers get preferential seating at the Saturday Night Headline Concerts. Pick your time and task on our volunteer page and email us your name for the schedule.

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