MMR Annual Dealers Choice Awards
Blackstar is proud to announce the presentation of the MMR Dealer’s Choice Award 2016 for the Amplifier Line of the Year. The award is voted for by US dealers and this year MMR readers were more actively involved than ever in the nomination process for brands and instruments/gear across all categories. MMR added “ Blackstar remains ahead of the pack and has firmly established itself as the “new classic” amp. Customers are singing the praises of Blackstar’s high quality, feature rich amps at reasonable prices.”
22 year old singer/songwriter Willow Robinson was born in Los Angeles and grew up between the Welsh Borders and London where he is now based. Uncovered by Alan McGee, the songwriter soon signed to his label in 2015. After playing a series of support slots with artists including The Jesus and Mary Chain and Killing Joke he released his debut single ‘Stones’ and ‘The Ocean Blue’ EP in 2016. Willow is now using an Artist 15 combo and looks set to take next year by storm.
Electronic rockers Vex Red have returned after a fourteen year absence. The band will be playing a hometown show this week at the West End Centre in Aldershot to celebrate the release of new single ‘Burn This Place’. Singer and guitarist Terry Abbott uses an Artist 15 combo. The band will be playing more shows across the UK in late January before announcing more live dates. For more information on the band visit http://www.vex.red/#hello
Ocean Colour Scene back on tour
Ocean Colour Scene are back on tour this week to mark the 20th anniversary of their legendary Moseley Shoals album. In their 23-year existence, Ocean Colour Scene have notched up nine albums, three of which went Top 5 – 1996’s Moseley Shoals, 1997’s Marchin’ Already and 1999’s One From The Modern – and a run of nine successive Top 20 hit singles commencing with 1996’s The Riverboat Song. The band will be playing six dates across the UK and Ireland and longterm Blackstar endorsee, Steve Cradock, will be using his trusty Artisan 30 rig. To see Steve and the band rehearsing for the tour visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDNC6k2EhJI
Maxi Jazz and the E-Type Boys
Maxi Jazz is better known as the frontman for Faithless, one of the most successful electronic acts in the world. In 2013, when on a hiatus from Faithless, Maxi went back into the studio with a guitar and notebook and began to write. After enlisting the help from some of his favourite musicians, whose paths he had crossed in the past twenty years in the business, an exciting and powerful live outfit emerged. Now known as Maxi Jazz and the E-Type Boys. All three guitarist in the band use Blackstar amps. Maxi with his HT Club 20, Jake Libretto with a HT Club 40 and Chris Dover on slide guitar with an Artist 15. The band are currently on tour playing three nights at the legendary Ronnie Scotts in London and then on to Manchester and Glasgow. The debut album ’Simple…Not Easy’ is out now. For more information visit http://maxijazz-etypeboys.com
MIA Awards 2016
We are proud to announce that both the ID Core 150 and the Fly 3 Bass have won MIA Awards. The ID Core 150 won in the Guitar - Amplifier & Accessories category and the judges said that the amp is “one of those products that makes you want to step in a time machine and take you back to your 15 year old self. An unbeatable combination of price and performance”. The Fly 3 Bass won best Bass Product with the judges adding that it’s “not only one of the greatest bass amps in the market for some time, but a well thought-out product that will bring new players to playing bass”. Both these amps are available worldwide now so make sure you go to your local Blackstar dealer to check them out for yourself!
The Professionals - Dingwalls London
The Professionals reformed last year and following their enthusiastically received live shows the band are in the process of recording an exciting new album. The Professionals were formed back in 1979 by Steve Jones and Paul Cook, both formerly of the Sex Pistols. They released four UK singles and the album ‘I Didn’t See It Coming’ before splitting in 1982. Original members Paul Cook and Paul Myers have teamed up with Tom Spencer to write and record the new album. Tom uses a Series One 104EL34 rig. We caught up with the band at Dingwalls in London where they were recording a live performance for Vintage TV which will be available to view soon. For more information on the band visit http://www.cookandjones.co.uk
Emerson Swinford - Rod Stewart
Emerson Swinford is a Los Angeles-based guitarist, composer/songwriter and producer. He is currently a touring and studio guitarist for Rod Stewart. His guitar work can be heard on much of the 2015 album release by Stewart, called Another Country and he also played guitar and co-wrote on the 2013 albumTime, both number one albums for Rod Stewart. As a session guitarist, Emerson has recorded with a diverse roster of artists such as Jennifer Love Hewitt, Paul Oakenfold, Kenny G, Dianne Warren and many others. Emerson was also the musical director and touring guitarist for Tony award-winning actress and singer Indina Menzel, famous for her roles in Disney’s Frozen TV show Glee. Emerson came to our London office this week to check out the Artisan 30 head which he was most impressed with and will now be using on tour. Emerson also took with him a HT-1R and Fly3 amp. For more information of Emerson visit http://www.emersonswinford.com
The Specials - Steve Cradock
The Specials are bringing their current tour to an end this week with two sold out shows at the Troxy in east London. The iconic 2 Tone ska band formed back in 1977 and are still going strong. The band is now joined by longterm Blackstar endorsee Steve Cradock on guitar, in-between playing for Ocean Colour Scene, Paul Weller and his solo career. Steve uses his specially made white Artisan 30 amps whilst performing with The Specials. Though these are the last shows of the year for the band they will return with an Australian tour in March before returning to the UK for a number of shows in May with more to be added. For more information visit http://www.thespecials.com
ID:Core 150 is a Gear Of The Year Winner
We are proud to announce that our ID:Core 150 has won Guitarist Magazine's prestigious ‘Gear Of The Year Winner’ award. The ID:Core 150 won ‘Best Combo’ due to it’s excellence in audio quality, tone shaping, innovation to the field and it’s fantastic price point. These combos are available worldwide now so make sure you get down to your local Blackstar dealer and find out what all the fuss is about!
Ian Hunter and the Rant Band
Ian Hunter and the Rant Band are in the middle of their UK and Scandinavian tour which sees them play thirteen shows across the UK, Sweden and Norway through out November. Ian is best known as the lead singer of Mott The Hoople though he was already a veteran of the London music scene by the time he joined the band in 1969 and has achieved huge success as a solo artist since the they disbanded in 1974. The current tour is in support of Ian’s latest album ‘Fingers Crossed’ released in September. This week Ian and the Rant Band will be playing Shepherds Bush Empire and as always they will be using their Blackstar amps. Ian uses an Artisan 30. For more information on the tour and the latest album visit http://ianhunter.com/main
ACM London - Richard Shaw Masterclass
Cradle of Filth guitarist and Blackstar endorsee, Richard Shaw, was at the new ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music) campus in London to perform a masterclass. The new ACM campus is based in Clapham and it’s a microcosm of the music industry, with performers, producers, songwriters, artists and business entrepreneurs all under one roof and Blackstar are proud to supply equipment for both the new campus in London and for the Blackstar/PRS room in ACM’s Guildford campus. Richard Shaw used to be a student at ACM and is now the guitarist for Cradle of Filth. Richard uses a Blackstar HT Metal 100 rig.
Jared James Nichols UK Tour
Jared James Nichols is currently in the middle of a UK tour which sees him play sixteen venues across the UK. The first half of the tour was in support of Walter Trout and Jared and his band have just kicked off the next stage supporting Scorpion Child. The Wisconsin-born, Los Angeles-based singer, writer and guitarist released his first LP last year, ‘Old Glory and the Wild Revival’ to critical acclaim and is wowing audiences with his electric live shows in which he uses a Blackstar Artist 30 amp. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/Jaredjamesnichols
Bones are currently on tour supporting Band of Skulls and will be playing the Roundhouse in London this week. The band has just returned from Tokyo where they played the Red Bull Live On The Road event and they will be back out with Jeff Beck on the Loud Hailer tour at the end of this week with a show at the O2 Arena on Sunday. Guitarist Carmen Vandenberg is using a HT Club 50 rig which can be seen in this video from their recent headline show at the Water Rats in London https://vimeo.com/184125900
Wednesday 13 + Evil Scarecrow
This weekend the Halloween Weekend of Horrors returns to The Garage in London where Blackstar endorsees Wednesday 13 will be playing two nights supported by Evil Scarecrow on the Friday. These shows are back by popular demand after last years Halloween weekend in which Wednesday 13 took The Garage by storm! The Saturday night has already sold out but for your chance to get your spook on and see some awesome bands visit https://officialwednesday13.com