Guitar Center has just launched its fifth-annual King of the Blues, the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. Starting today (April 6), guitarists can sign up at any of Guitar Center's 216 stores across the country for the chance to compete for over $50,000 in prizes, including studio time with Grammy Award-winning producer Pete Anderson. Five finalists will perform for a panel of celebrity judges at the King of the Blues finals at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, playing alongside Allman Brothers Band and Gov't Mule guitarist Warren Haynes.
"Guitar Center's King of the Blues is a celebration of the blues guitar, and it's heartening to be involved in an event that shines a light on undiscovered artists," said Haynes. "After seeing past finalists I'm really looking forward to seeing who they find to share the stage with me at the House of Blues."
In addition to impressive prize packages at the local, district and regional levels from Gibson, Epiphone, Ernie Ball, Egnater and Boss, the guitarist crowned Guitar Center's 2011 King of the Blues will land a studio session with producer Pete Anderson, with the total prize package valued at more than $50,000. The full grand prize package includes:
- $25,000 cash
- Studio session with Grammy Award-winning producer Pete Anderson
- Gibson Vintage Collectors Series Les Paul 1959 Reissue
- Epiphone 1965 Elitist Casino
- Egnater full-stack (Egnater Tweaker 88 head plus two 4x12 Vintage-30 loaded cabinets)
- Egnater 112 combo amp
- Boss GT-10 guitar multi-effects processor
- Winner's choice of two Boss single-stomp pedals
- Robert Johnson Complete Masters, Centennial Edition vinyl box set
- Endorsement deals from Gibson, Ernie Ball, Boss and Egnater
- Feature in Guitar World Magazine
Local competitions will be held at each of the 216 Guitar Center locations nationwide, beginning May 5th. Each contestant will be required to give a live guitar solo, performed over one of thirty original backing tracks, developed by Grammy Award-winning producer/guitarist, Pete Anderson (all backing tracks are available for free download at guitarcenter.com/kingoftheblues). One winner from each store will be chosen to move up to district competitions (25 locations), followed by regionally hosted semi-finals (5 locations), which culminate in the King of the Blues grand finals.