Award Winning Guitar Player

On the weekend of August 24th I traveled south with the wonderful Steel Pennies, the band I've been a part of since January 2013, to play at the Santa Fe Old Time and Bluegrass Festival.  We had been trying to get into this festival, our first outside of Colorado, and quickly took the open slot they offered even though it was at the extremely high and lonesome hour of 9:30 on Saturday morning.  We played our set and had the stands filled by the time we finished.  It would seem that there are a lot of early rising bluegrass fans in Santa Fe!  Since our goal was to make ourselves noticed to the festival it was suggested that several of us sign up for the instrumental contests going on that day.  David Okay Patton had already signed up for banjo and soon Darrell Cox was roped into joining the mandolin competition.  I was nominated to represent our group in the flatpicking contest.  I hadn't planned on playing in the contest but thought "What's the worst that can happen?".  I asked Kathy "Tater" Draz to accompany me on one song (we were allowed six minutes) and we did "Cherokee Shuffle".  The only thought that really went into the song selection and playing on my part was that maybe there would be a lot of fast, flashy pickers and perhaps a slower song would stand out.  I improvised a version of "Shenandoah" with a lot of cross picking and chord variations.  Something must have worked because I won first place!



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