Allen Shadd

Allen Shadd started learning guitar at the age of 7, self taught by playing along with the radio and records. By the age of 10 he was playing on stages with various bands that would ask him to sit in. By the age of 15 he had been on the road for short stretches (between school years) with several different bands, including Claire Lynch and the Front Porch String Band. After hearing Mark O'Connor's live contest performance from the National Flatpick Championship at Winfield on a record, competing and winning at Winfield became one of his goals. He first attended Winfield in 1979 when he was 14 years old, and that trip only served to inspire him. Returning after nearly 15 years, he began competing at Winfield and other flatpick contests in the mid 90's. Allen won the 1st place championship at Winfield in 1997, a year after taking 2nd place. This past year he placed 2nd, and for the 5th time in 7 years placed among the top 3. His latest win was a 1st place finish at the prestigious Wayne Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition, winning for the 2nd time in as many times entering (the only contestant to have done this). Over the years he has perfomed in many bands in several genres, performed workshops and clinics for numerous sponsors, and continues to compete in many contests throughout the country. Some of his other flatpick contest wins have included Rockygrass, Merlefest, the New England flatpick championship, and many others. He has won 21 guitars so far in his contest endeavors. Allen says that if he never wins another contest, he has been blessed.

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