Luke Lovejoy, a 16-year-old from Cloverdale, IN, outplayed all challengers to take home the first place trophy, a cash prize of $3,000 in memory of Brian Redford and the Collings Winfield Model Mahogany/Adirondack Spruce Guitar, provided by Collings Guitar, Inc., Austin, TX. The high school junior said he has been playing the guitar for four years, is self-taught and was shocked to make it to the finals at his first Walnut Valley Festival. Before Winfield, he had only played in a local guitar contest with five other contestants. “I showed up to the warmup area, I saw three of my heroes and just walked up and said to myself, ‘It’s over.’ But I decided I’d just do the best I could.” Lovejoy had only prepared pieces for the first round, and had to scramble a bit when his number was called to play again in the finals. “I had about five minutes to get ready for the second round, so I just played two of my favorite fiddle tunes, ‘Black Mountain Rag’ and ‘Big Sandy,’” he said. Prior to the win, his only guitar was an inexpensive Asian-made dreadnought. But earlier in the week, Bourgeois Guitars loaned the young guitarist a top-of-the-line dreadnought for the contest.