Courtesy of Guitar Center

That's a Lot of Levi's

About three weeks ago, we

clued you in

as to the whereabouts of Aaron Loesch. The former Jug O’Lightnin’ bandleader had entered the Guitar Center King of the Blues competition, and had made it through store, city, state and regional rounds all the way to the final four.

This past weekend, he won, besting 4,000 fellow contestants. Guitar Center’s PR people pick up the story:

“In an epic show on Saturday, June 16th at the historic Music Box @ Fonda Theater in Hollywood, CA, Aaron Loesch from Houston, Texas, performed alongside Grammy® Award-winning producer Pete Anderson, and battled it out with three other contestants from around the country in front of a sold out crowd of more than 1,400. The evening's judges, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Hubert Sumlin, Pete Anderson, Brad Tolinsky, Randy Chortoff and last year's winner, Matt O'Ree, based their decision on overall performance, originality, technique, style and stage presence. With those variables in mind, Aaron Loesch was awarded the title of Guitar Center's "The King of The Blues." In addition, he will receive a prize package valued at more than $50,000 and the opportunity to perform on the same stage as BB King, Willie Nelson and John Mayer at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival this summer in Chicago, IL.”

Loesch will also receive the following:

- Seven days in the studio with Grammy Award winning producer and guitar aficionado Pete Anderson - 2007 Ford Mustang - Gibson '59 VOS re-issue Les Paul - One-year Gibson endorsement deal - Write-up in Guitar World magazine - Gibson GA40 Amplifier - Apple MacPro 2.66 GHz computer with 23-inch Cinema HD monitor - $2500 Levi's Shopping spree

In his run to the title, Loesch wowed the guitar nerds in attendance by never playing a Stratocaster. Instead, he opted for those ramshackle, thrift store Franken-axes we’ve seen him wield here for years. Speaking to Modern Guitars magazine, Loesch explained that decision. "For years I’ve been re-building old Silvertones, Regals, and Kayes," he said. "Around 12 years ago it was the start of my jug band and I liked the way these little trashcan guitars sounded, they had sort of a toilet bowl tone. I ended up routing a hole and sticking a humbucker in the little 3/4 scale acoustic guitars. I've got about 20 or 30 of these things. Some of them are waiting to be electrified because I just wear them out when I play gigs - throw 'em in the air and oops, I missed it, time to build another one."

Congratulations, Aaron. As Carolyn Wonderland said, “it couldn’t have happened to a better guitar player.” – John Nova Lomax

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