In just his second time competing at Winfield, Hudsen Doucette, Waller, TX, claimed the top prize in the National Bluegrass Banjo Championship. A musician who plays in his family’s traveling band, Doucette said that he fell in love with the banjo when he was 11. “I heard a guy play the banjo at our church, and I was fascinated with it,” Doucette said. “I had played guitar earlier, but the banjo just blew me away. That was my instrument. My dad got me a banjo that Christmas, and I’ve been playing ever since.” He won the state competition at the Fire on the Strings banjo competition in Texas. He said he thought that the competition this year was incredible. These guys are incredibly talented,” he said. “I just played my style, and I guess that’s what the judges wanted. But, those guys are insane. I look up to them. I wasn’t really expecting to win, but I’ll take it.” He said he gets pretty nervous when he competes. “It’s nerve-racking, but overall it’s good for any player to compete. It drives them to be better as a player and competitor,” Doucette said. “Normally, my hands start sweating, making it hard for my hands to slide across the fretboard. I try to imagine myself at home, just practicing like I normally do, and try not to look at the crowd.”
Doucette returns home with a first-place trophy and an Ome Megatone Bluegrass Banjo provided by Ome Banjos of Boulder, CO.