Guitar Wars, Round One

The Guitar Wars competition – a kind of “American Idol” for local guitarslingers – got underway on Tuesday (November 24) with some mighty firey fretwork at Tess’ Lark Tavern in Albany.

Q103 DJ Mrozek emceed the procedings, and there was no foolin’ around as contestants lined up for their three minutes on stage to strut their six-string skills. A panel of judges for the event included solo performer and Lark Tavern open-mic host MotherJudge, classical and bluegrass guitar player and teacher Sten Isachsen, jazz guitarist and teacher George Muscatello and yours truly (Greg Haymes of

And in the end, three stellar axmen were selected to move on to the grand final round of competition:

Albie Von Schaaf: who plays in the Black Fuel and These Are The Hits
Rob Guerin: the only acoustic guitarist of Tuesday’s round
Chuck Valentine: who plays in Road to Galway

You can hear two of the finalists playing around Nippertown this weekend. These Are the Hits featuring Albie Van Schaaf will be in the spotlight at Tess’ Lark Tavern tonight (Wednesday, November 24), while Chuck Valentine and his band Road to Galway will be at Revolution Hall in Troy on Friday (November 28), sharing the stage with Hair of the Dog.

There are two more nights of preliminary competition slated for Tuesday, December 1 at Savannah’s in Albany and Wednesday, December 2 at the Bayou Cafe in Albany. Registration is still open, so sign up today to enter.

The three finalists selected on Tuesday as well as the top three guitarists from each of the first round competitions next week will face off in the finals at Revolution Hall in Troy on Thursday, December 10.

  1. rocket man says

    are electric mandolins kosher for the competition?

  2. [email protected] says

    Funny you should ask, Rocket Man. I asked that very question last night and was told that, yes, indeed, you can compete on any string instrument – dobro, mandolin, banjo, harp, whatever.

  3. rocket man says

    sweet, i’m there.

  4. rocket man says

    how about accompaniment by drum machine. is that pushing it?

  5. [email protected] says

    Well, you might be going too far with that one, but I don’t know for sure. Call up the radio station and ask ’em…

  6. rocket man says

    i’m trying to register for the one on wed 12/2 at the bayou but the site’s not working. is there somebody i can call?

  7. [email protected] says

    Well, the office number for Q103 is 881-1515, but you might want to wait ’til tomorrow when there’s a better chance of someone knowledgable being at work. But don’t fear, advance registration is NOT required. You can also sign-up to compete at the venue on the night of the competition.

  8. Albie says

    Who are the finalists from the 2nd round, Greg?

  9. [email protected] says

    The results from Guitar Wars, Night Two are now posted. For some reason – I don’t know why – there are only two finalists.

  10. z1geocat says

    Where can I find the round 2 finalist on q103 site. It only shows results of round 1

  11. [email protected] says

    Actually, I don’t think the Q103 site has any listings of winners – just a link to this story. You can find the other winners here on the site by searching for Guitar Wars, Night Two and Guitar Wars, Night Three.

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