Local guitarist Randy Scott was crowned King of the Blues in the Northridge Guitar Center blues competition and will be moving on to the next round, where he will compete against the best guitarists from the region.
The regional finals will take place Wednesday night, Oct. 21 at the Hollywood Guitar Center.
The King of the Blues competition is a “nationwide search for the next undiscovered Blues guitar player,” according to the Web site.
David Marek, publicist of Girlie Action Media and Marketing said the competition focuses on blues guitarists because blues is the root of all music.
“I think it’s pretty natural for this contest focus on the blues. It makes sense for Guitar Center, which serves as the gear central for musicians of all genres to form a contest that’s focused at the root of all these genres,” said Marek.
Scott, 39, a self-described “regular guy working in retail with a passion for music” said he was an avid guitar player when he was younger, but the responsibilities took over and he had to get a “day job.”
Scott said he decided to enter the competition for fun, not with serious intentions of competing against other guitarists.
“I haven’t played much in past years and I thought it would just be fun to enter the nationwide competition and play an old friend (his guitar) I haven’t seen in awhile,” said Scott.
Scott’s guitar skills proved worthy of advancing to the regional finals.
“On Wednesday night I saw some incredible talent. There are some really amazing unknown players here in Southern California,” said Scott.
Scott draws inspiration from some of his musicians such as Robben Ford.
John Gallo, sales manager at the Guitar Center in Northridge said playing the blues is like learning about rock n’ roll history. “Blues is rooted in an older foundation,” he said. “The King of the Blues has been around for a while, so it’s kind of like a tradition.”
Gallo said that the musical formula for Blues music could also be a factor in holding a competition that focuses on blues music. “Blues has a very standard progression, for jamming out and showing off your main skills, as long as you know that progression, and you can stay in key,” said Gallo.
In addition to playing the Blues, guitarists need to show they possess the technique and showmanship needed to win, said Gallo. The competition is only about guitar skills, said Gallo.
Guitarists are competing for $25,000 in cash, magazine features and endorsement deals, including a deal with Gibson guitars.
This competition will also give undiscovered guitarists exposure.
Each guitarist plays to a backing track provided by Grammy-award winning producer Pete Anderson, said Gallo. The contestants will be judged based on technique, showmanship, style, originality, stage presence, authenticity and overall performance, according to the Website.
In the grand finals, guitarists will be performing with a live band, according to the Website.
Among the judges on the panel for the district finals will be J.P. Cervoni, a guitarist, producer and song writer, and Loni Specter, producer of “LA Amp Show”, said Gallo.
Scott said he plays the guitar for the love of playing guitar, “The Guitar Center King of the Blues (competition) has resurrected my love for the guitar,” he said, “I just do what I do, that’s the best I can do.”
The regional finals will be held Oct. 21 at 7p.m. at the Hollywood Guitar Center located on 7425 Sunset Blvd. People are invited to come support local guitarists. For more information, visit www.guitarcenter.com .