Allen Shadd started playing guitar when he was seven years old. He grew up traveling with various bands, eventually turning his attention to contests. Allen is a three-time National Flatpicking champion, winning the title in 1997, 2013, and again in 2019. He is also a two-time Wayne Henderson guitar competition champion, as well as Merlefest champion, Rockygrass champion and many other state and regional titles are among his awards. Although he has excelled in his contest endeavors, he is equally at home performing workshops and concerts. He has performed or recorded with many artists, including Tom T. Hall, Claire Lynch, Randy Howard, Peter Rowan, Alan O’Bryant, Jack Lawrence, Jack Pearson, David Grier, Norman Blake, Barry Lee Harwood, T. Michael Coleman, Darin and Brooke Aldridge and many more. He has been featured as an artist and has also authored articles in numerous music publications.
In late 2020, Allen began recording and performing in a duo with flutist Kristen Holloway. Their music ranges from original songs, to classic standards like “What a Wonderful World” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. They have also recorded songs like “The Long and Winding Road” and “Colour My World” with John Cowan.
Allen Shadd, 2013 Wayne Henderson guitar contest winner with Herb Key and Wayne Henderson