In September of this year, sixteen year old Luke Lovejoy visited our booth at the Walnut Valley Festival to try out some guitars. Everyone at Winfield, it seems, is a pretty good picker, and Luke was no exception. After getting to know him a little, we learned of Luke’s intention to compete in the National Flatpicking Contest, and also of some intonation problems plaguing his personal guitar. What the heck, thought Sales Manager James Cook, why don’t you just borrow one of ours for the contest?
Two rounds later, Luke Lovejoy became the 2018 National Flatpicking Champion. He promptly returned to our booth and bought the loaned guitar, a customized Mahogany Dreadnought with an Aged Tone top, with his contest money. We have started to call this model “The Champ.”
David McCarty tells the story in much greater detail in the following article. But there’s more.
A couple weeks later we brought Luke to IBMA, the national bluegrass convention in Raleigh, NC, where he got to meet and play with a bunch of his flatpicking heroes, including Bryan Sutton. Check out Gold rush, a tune from their impromptu jam in Fretboard Journal’s hotel suite: