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2015 Indiana State Fingerstyle Guitar Competition

Indiana State Fingerstyle Guitar contest

Hey Everyone! Just got back from the Indiana State Fingerstyle Guitar competition and thought I’d tell you about it. ūüôā I’ll tell you right off, I didn’t win… ūüôĀ boo hoo cry wah wah! lol, didn’t even make it to the 2nd round. I think it may have been that I drew number 1 when we were picking for contestant performance order. Oh well. Maybe Winfield! As I’m going this year.

So, Got to Nashville north, as they say, on Friday afternoon and set up for a gig at the Pine Room. I barely got there because of a cancerous tire on my van as I traveled. It was really rough. Thankfully, my friend there and organizer of the event, Chuck Wills, helped me change it.

Kade Puckett, a great fingerpicker opened the show 5-7 and then I went on to pick some.  I played a handful of tunes, including my Beach Boys stuff and Beatles, and some more. Helen Avakian joined the stage with her friend David Irwin. Outside was some cool music happening too by Cari Ray and her band.  It was a good time had by all, and even my friend Maxwell Hughes, from the Lumineers, showed up and played some stuff!

Saturday was the day of the contest! In the morning we drew for our numbers and I got the dreaded number 1. ¬†My plan was to play my song, Us Together and follow up with my strong arrangement of California Girls, by the Beach Boys. I played flawlessly, yet I did not make it to the 2nd round. Oh well next time… que Beck’s song… I’m a loser baby! so why don’t you kill me…. lol just kidding.

The Winners of the contest were:

David Youngman – 1st place winner David took home a fine handmade guitar by OC Bear!

Keith Taylor – 2nd place

Bill Russell – 3rd place

Helen Avakian and Mark Bayer were the two runners up in the top 5

There were 21 contestants and 3-5 judges keeping score.

It’s a great contest and I encourage anyone into fingerstyle guitar to give it a try. There was even a 14 year old kid name Evan Twitty who was great! Even the winner of the Canadian Fingerstyle guitar fest competed, Kevin Blake Goodwin.

On that Sunday I taught 3 workshops for guitarists. One was a fingerstyle for strummers, intro to thumbstyle guitar, and tricks and licks. It was great for me to teach, and because of that opportunity I felt like a winner.

I did learn a new joke while in Indiana. This is my step-ladder. I never knew my real one.  lololol!! 11854086_10208140832145472_1078886432_n

Indiana State Fingerstyle Competition

Just finished up a weekend in Nashville Indiana where I competed in the Indiana State Fingerstyle guitar competition. There were 24 really good contestants this year. This contest is set up very much like the International contest I attend in Winfield, KS. The prize here was a very nice¬†O.C. Bear guitar. It’s a hand made guitar by¬†Clint Bear¬†and valued at $5000. Our buddy¬†Kade Puckett¬†won this year. It’s very fitting as well, because he’s the Indiana boy and has been wanting an O.C. Bear guitar for a long time.

  • If you’re a fingerstyle guitar player, this is a contest you’ll want to enter. The people of Nashville are very accommodating. Many of us played gigs around town, where folks showed up. If ¬†they keep it up, this contest has a potential of having a competitive edge with Winfield’s Contest.

Mark Sganga got second place with a cash prize and a student type Indiana Guitar.

I got 3rd place, with a plaque and $100 cash prize. My buddy Jimmy Deheno was a runner up, along with Jonathan Brown and Dan Bankhurst. 

I also got to teach my first workshop for fingerstyle guitar. It was really great and got to give some individual attention to each student as they learned some new guitar techniques. Got to show off my Takamine Guitar and talk about why I love Takamine

Indiana Contest photo

 The Stage at the Brown County playhouse

Indiana Contest winners

Clint Bear, Mark Sganga, Kade Puckett, Lance Allen

Lance and jimmy practicing

Me and Jimmy Practicing against a cinder block wall. lol Funny picture.


Artisan Guitars Valentines Day Contest

So I’m in a contest to win a very nice CA “Cargo” travel guitar. I’ve been wanting one of these when I saw my friends George who has one.

If you’re a member of facebook, all you have to do is like my post. I have some likes already, but they all count. Enter if you wish.

Here’s the direct link, just scroll down to the right and see my song and click on like. For doing that, I’ll send you an mp3 of my instrumental version of the song “I’m Saying I Love You”¬† for free as a thank you!


Artisan Guitars  is a very cool dreamlike music store in Franklin TN.

Here’s a link to there website. One day soon I’ll stop by and do a video interview/tour so you can see what I’m talking about.



Here’s a pic of the Prize guitar. It would certainly be a very nice Valentine Surprise for me!