Liam Purcell pulls a hat trick at RockyGrass!

We have asserted for several years now that Liam Purcell was an exceptional young bluegrass multi-instrumentalist, and now he has papers to prove it!

The talented teen founder of North Carolina’s Cane Mill Road set a record at this past weekend’s RockyGrass festival in Lyons, CO by winning first place in their banjo, guitar, and mandolin contests. The event draws top pickers every year from all over the US, and is held in two stages – preliminary competition and finals. No walk in the park, this.

And Mr. Purcell got more than papers. He was awarded a Deering John Hartford model banjo ($4,800 value), a Thompson D-MA guitar ($4,700 value), and a check for $1,000 along with three blue ribbons.

He tells us it was a surreal experience. 

“I was blown away to have received first in all three categories at RockyGrass. It was a great field of pickers and I think everyone was bringing out their best. It was super fun and I was lucky to have my buddy Isaiah Gardham backing me up the whole way. Thanks to Planet Bluegrass for hosting a renowned contest and thanks to Deering Banjos and Preston Thompson Guitars for providing instruments for the winner.

Hopefully we can come out here with the full band in future years and be a part of the festival lineup!”

Outstanding achievement, Liam. Well done!

Keep an eye on this young man.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.