Last year, Guitar Center set out to find the nation’s best unsigned singer/songwriter with a contest that included a $10,000 cash prize and a three-song EP helmed by Grammy-winning producer John Shanks.
After more than 17,000 submissions, 10 finalists were named, and all of them stopped by the Fender Showroom in Burbank, Calif., last week.
Here is a picture of the finalists checking out some Fender gear that will be included in the prize pack:
Josh Doyle (fourth from right) of Antioch, Tenn., was named the winner after a Saturday-night performance at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles.
“All 10 finalists are incredibly skilled and stepped up with inspiring performances, it was a very tough decision,” said Shanks, who has worked with Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette, Sarah Bareillis, Michelle Branch, Keith Urban and Bon Jovi. “There was something unmistakable about Josh’s raw performance at Hotel Cafe. The combination of his talent – that voice and impeccably crafted lyrics — struck a chord with me, making him the clear winner. I look forward to guiding him through the process of recording his EP.”
Doyle, who moved to Tennessee from England as a young boy, has been influenced by spending his formative years so close to Nashville.
That upbringing was apparent when he took the stage at Hotel Cafe for his winning performance.
“I feel incredibly honored to have been chosen from over 17,000 people as the winner of Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter,” said Doyle. “It’s been a whirlwind experience. Sharing my music with other people is what I love to do, and with this competition, Guitar Center and John Shanks are helping me do that on a larger scale than I could have ever imagined.”
For more information on all the finalists, visit the contest’s official website.