By Lisa Morgan

Temecula has more to celebrate these days aside from their championship golf courses and beautiful wine country, their Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, and the Temecula Valley International Film Festival.  They can now proudly claim Temecula Road, a band that is solid evidence of the communities budding music scene, and who by their very name, are proud of where they come from.  Tapped by Radio Disney as their latest “Next Big Thing,” sisters Maddie, 17, and Emma Salute, 18, along with their brother in spirit, Dawson Anderson, also 18, have already opened for Martina McBride, Josh Turner, Joe Nichols, Easton Corbin, Lee Brice, Sara Evans, Kenny Rogers, and the Eli Young Band, to name a few. This past year, Temecula Road signed with Buena Vista Records, part of the large-scale Disney Music Group. With their Disney affiliation, the trio will receive big-time boosts from the Disney Channel and Radio Disney and the company’s myriad social platforms. Their current single/video, “What If I Kissed You” has over half a million Spotify streams and approximately ¼ million video views. After interviewing these three, I have to say, I am now a fan myself.  

These teens are authentic, unassuming, and age appropriately optimistic and wise.  They are supported by a strong family dynamic, and their harmonies are like honey butter on a fresh warm biscuit.  While clearly talented with looks that fit the part, it’s their work ethic and gracious demeanor that compels me to believe in them.  While their first hit launched their careers, they are not content to rest on their laurels or the work of others. They have worked hard and taken full advantage of the grooming and mentoring opportunities Disney has brought their way, including writing with pros and continuing their musical education.  Their next singles to be released later this year will reflect that.

CVW: “Does your family have a music background?”


Dawson: “No.  We’re the first ones in our families to pursue music.  But we would be no where without them. They are literally our biggest motivators and supporters on every level.”

CVW: “What is your first musical memory – the one that made you think, ‘I want to do this!’”

Maddie: “I remember seeing Carrie Underwood on TV singing, ‘Jesus Take the Wheel.’  Every time it came on CMT, I would freak out and think, ‘That’s what I want to do!’”

Emma: “The harmony thing just came more naturally for me.  I was singing harmonies at 7 years old, at church and to the radio.  The song I remember making the first big impact was Taylor Swift’s, ‘You Belong with Me.’”

Dawson:  The first time I remember falling in love with music was at my first concert – Rascal Flatts.  I was 7 years old and I still remember hearing, ‘Life is a Highway,’ and thinking that’s what I want to do.”

CVW: “How did you three meet and start working together?”

Dawson: “We were 13 and 14 when we met.  I started taking vocal lessons from the same vocal coach as the girls.  We started writing together, and a year or so later, we decided that we should do this and make it a career path.  People responded well to what we were doing.  They saw it even before we did.”

CVW: “Tell me what unique differences each of your personalities bring to the table.”

Maddie: “I’m the calmest and quietest.”

Dawson: “That’s true.”

Emma: (silence)

CVW: “Emma, you’re pretty quiet over there; do you agree?”

Emma: (all three laughing) “Well, I do, and I don’t. I see her as both my sister and my bandmate. But, yeah, I would pretty much agree.”

CVW: “How about you, Emma?”

Emma: “I would say I’m probably the most strong willed in the group.”

CVW: “Is that another way of saying you might be a little bit stubborn?”

Emma: “Well, yes.”

Dawson: “Yes, in the best way possible!”

Maddie: “In the worst way, possible.” (all laugh, myself included)

Dawson: “This is a tricky question for me.  I definitely would say I’m the loudest.”

Emma/Maddie: “You’re the wild one!”

Dawson: “That’s true.  I have fun watching the grass grow.  Everything excites me. Everything we do is ‘the coolest thing ever,’ even if it’s just checking into a hotel.”

CVW to Dawson: Do you get a lot of comments from the guys around you to the effect of, ‘Dude you are so lucky.  Those girls are so beautiful.’”

Dawson: “All ….the ….time! The sound guys, people at the venues…”

Emma/Maddie:  “Ew!” (laughter)

Dawson: “Not in a creepy way! Just like, ‘Man, you have it made. And, yeah… I would say I’m a pretty lucky guy.”

CVW: “Are you protective of the girls?”

Emma/Maddie: “No! I think we’re more protective of Dawson!”

Dawson: “I am protective, but in a different kind of way – like a brother. I see these two more than I see my own brothers because we’re travelling together and rehearsing all the time.  They have taught me how to treat girls, hold the door open for them, how to talk to them… My family is all guys. Even the dog is a guy.  It’s the opposite for the girls.  They’re all girls in their house – even the dog.  It’s been a big learning curve for all of us.”

CVW: “Are you girls protective of Dawson?  It seems some girls can be pretty aggressive, especially when it comes to a musician.”

Maddie: “My favorite thing they do at the meet and greet: ‘Oh you’re shorter than I thought.’” (laughter)

Dawson: “That’s ok. there are some girls that seem a little more aggressive, act a little too friendly, or IM me a little too much.  These girls keep me level headed.”

Emma: “I’ll swoop in to save the day.”

CVW: “You have so many good things going on, but what is the hardest part of the new job and the fame and attention that come with it?”

 Dawson: “I would say is not seeing family as much as I want to.  I love these two.  But I miss my family and friends.”

Emma/Maddie: “Definitely being away from home.”

Temecula Road were on the road with country music icon, Sara Evans, when we spoke, and are looking forward to Stagecoach, playing at the CMA Fest and opening for Train in Memphis.  Be sure to catch them and support this local ensemble on the SiriusXM’s SPOTLIGHT Stage, Sunday, 1;25-1:50 pm. You can follow them at