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Maiden man wins Doc Watson Guitar Championship

April 30, 2013

Maiden musician Michael Ballard won the MerleFest 2013 Doc Watson Guitar Championship contest on Friday, April 26.

“I think MerleFest is the best festival in the United States,” Michael Ballard told crowd at the Austin Stage – and that was before he won MerleFest’s annual Doc Watson Guitar Championship.

Ballard, who hails from Maiden, placed first among six competitors in the event, which drew a large crowd to the Austin Stage in Alumni Hall on the Wilkes Community College campus.

Each picker played three numbers in the one-round competition, then it was up to the judges, who were bluegrass legend Peter Rowan, Uwe Kruger of the Kruger Brothers, and last year’s winner, Ben Cockman of the Cockman Family.

To read more of this story, pick up the Wednesday edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.

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