Isaac Gracie is a singer songwriter from Ealing, London who in just a matter of months has gone from writing and recording alone in his bedroom to being a hotly tipped breakthrough act for 2016. He’s just released his first EP, Songs From My Bedroom to rave reviews and is causing the biggest stir the UK’s new music scene has witnesses in years. Isaac will be on tour later this year supporting Michael Kiwanuka and will be playing festivals including Lattitude and Reading & Leeds. He visited our London base this past week to test out some amps and was so impressed with the Artist range that he used one for his show that night in London and will be using one for his upcoming tour. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/isaacgraciemusic
Ihsahn - Arktis
Ihsahn is best known for his work with the legendary black metal band Emperor and is rightly regarded as one of the most influential metal musicians ever. Nowadays he devotes his time to his solo albums and Arktis is Ihsahn’s sixth solo outing since The Adversary, his solo debut in 2006. Arktis is garnering rave reviews across the board and we spoke to Ihsahn about the recording process involved in the album and what Blackstar equipment was used. “For live purposes I keep on coming back to the Series One, for the flexibility and powerful tone. However, in the studio, where there is time to fine tune tones and put layers of sound together, I’ve come to love my Artisan 100! The different vintage characters, clarity and immense attack make it a joy to work with. For my latest album “Arktis”, recorded at Juke Joint Studio in Notodden, a majority of the recording was done using the Artisan 100 with different LT/HT pedals in front.“ Arktis is available now. For more information visit http://www.ihsahn.com
David Ellefson of Megadeth
David Ellefson of Megadeth received a Fly 3 Bass and gave us a quote about it. Here is what he had to say: "Mini but Mighty is what the Fly 3 Bass is all about! I Love it!" - you can check out all about the Fly 3 Bass right here: https://www.blackstaramps.com/ranges/fly-bass
April Webcast - Musikmesse Special
If you arent going to the Musikmesse in Frankfurt then dont worry, Blackstar are bringing the show to you. Tune into this webcast to see whats new from Blackstar with the official launches of the ID:Core 100 and 150 and the Fly 3 Bass. Dont miss it!
Watch it on the Blackstar website - 7th April 2016 at 7.30pm BST
Bob Mould - Patch The Sky
Former Husker Du and Sugar linchpin, Bob Mould has just released his latest album ‘Patch The Sky’. Its his 12th solo album and the follow up to 2014’s critically acclaimed ‘Beauty and Ruin’. It has already been named both 6 Music and Mojo magazine’s album of the week and has received unanimous rave reviews. Bob will be marking the release of this album with a month long tour across north America kicking off in Seattle on the 16th and as always he will be using an Artisan 100 rig. For more information visit http://bobmould.com/
Counterfeit European Tour
Counterfeit are kicking off their European tour this month and will be playing five shows in the UK before heading further afield. To celebrate this the band is releasing new single ‘Enough’ on April 1st. All three guitarists in the band use Blackstar amps and lead singer/guitarist Jamie Bower had this to say about his Series One 1046L6 head, “I was using other amps but it wasn’t until I tried the Series One that I, and I know its the tagline, really found the sound in my head that I was looking for”. For more information on Counterfeit visit http://www.therealcounterfeit.com
Join us for our monthly webcast right on the Blackstar website homepage. This month we chat to Ian Robinson (Managing Director) about the Artist Series and the idea behind the range and also touch on the ID:Core BEAM. Tune in on our homepage at 7.30 BST 31st March 2016. See you there!
Uli Jon Roth - The Ultimate Guitar Experience
Guitar legend Uli Jon Roth has joined forces with Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson, Jeff Beck) and Andy Timmons (Danger Danger, Simon Philips) for “The Ultimate Guitar Experience” North America tour which takes place this spring. The tour, which kicked off in late February and sees them play 37 shows across North America, will celebrate the art of guitar playing at the highest level. Uli uses a pair of Artisan 100 stacks and will be playing songs drawn from his entire career, including the best of Scorpions Revisited, Electric Sun, Transcendental Sky Guitar and Sky of Avalon. For more information visit http://sky2015.uliroth.com/
Hugo White - The Maccabees
The Maccabees released their first album ‘Colour it In’ back in 2007 and have since grown into one of the UK’s most revered guitar bands. Last years release ‘Marks To Prove It’ garnered rave reviews and reached number one in the UK album chart. The albums predecessor ‘Given to the Wild’ received a Mercury nomination and the single ‘Pelican’ received an Ivor Novello award for Best Contemporary Song. This year sees the band headline their first major festival when they take to the stage at Latitude. Hugo White, guitarist and producer, has recently joined the Blackstar family and had this to say about the Artist 30 “the Artist Series combo has been a great addition to the studio, very pure sounding amp that is versatile enough to make it a go to choice”. We are extremely excited and proud to welcome Hugo on board.
Adrian Smith - Iron Maiden
Back in 2008 when Blackstar was still in its infancy Blackstar sent Adrian Smith a HT-5 mini stack. Adrian then went on to use this and a Series One 100 head to record some of the guitars tracks on the album The Final Frontier. When it came to recording Iron Maiden follow up album The Book of Souls in 2014, upon request, Blackstar sent Adrian a Series One 1046L6 and a 104EL34 to the Guillaume Tell Studio in Paris, France. As well as using both of these amps to record some of the guitar tracks on the new album, Adrian wanted to get the sound he got in his home studios. When asked by Kevin Shirley the producer what he used Adrian replied, ‘The Blackstar HT-5’. So on a weekend trip home to UK Adrian brought back his trusty HT-5.
Adrian used the powerfully fitting tone of the HT-5 to help record the rest of the album.
Alvarez Kings - Instagram Takeover
The Alvarez Kings are currently on a US tour supporting Melanie Martinez. On March 9th they will be playing the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville and for 24 hours they will be taking over Blackstar’s Instagram account. Keep an eye on our account from the morning of the 9th for an intriguing look into life on the road with the Alvarez Kings.
The Guitar Show update
We went to The Guitar Show in Birmingham last weekend and our Blackstar stand was extremely busy all weekend! We had endorsees Ron Sayer and Joanovarc visit the booth and it was great to meet so many customers that really love our products.
If you missed out this year but want to get involved in the action next year, you can find out more details on the event here - http://www.theguitarshow.co.uk/
Hertfordshire bred rockers, Fort Hope have announced a massive UK headline tour, as well as a high profile support slot with Saosin at London’s O2 Academy Islington. 2016 already looks bright for Fort Hope, who were included in Kerrang!’s ‘Class of 2016’ in January. Live they already have a fearsome reputation, having supported Frank Iero, Mallory Knox, Jimmy Eat World and Moose Blood. With their growing following, their dynamic stage presence and sing-along ready rock anthems, they have earned themselves a spot on this year’s Download festival. Guitarist Jon Gaskin uses a Series One 100 rig. For more information on the tour http://forthope.seetickets.com/tour/fort-hope
Ellie Goulding is about to embark on a UK arena tour with support from John Newman. Chris Kettley, Ellie’s guitarist uses Artisan 30 combos and John Newman’s guitarist Carlos Garcia uses an Artisan 30 alongside an Artist 15.
Tour dates can be found here - http://www.elliegoulding.com/live/
This Is The Kit
This Is The Kit is the much beloved musical project of Kate Stables. Kate sings, plays guitar, banjo, trumpet and percussion, while a cast of carefully hand-plucked friends deliver guitar strums, banjo plucks, hushed horns and electronic textures that sit beneath. They released their third album ‘Bashed Out’ last year to critical acclaim and will be touring throughout the year playing some of the biggest UK festivals including Festival No. 6 and Kate will be using her newly acquired Artist 15. For more information on This Is The Kit visit http://thisisthekit.co.uk