The NAMM Show 17
The NAMM 2017 show has just come to an end and this year over 95,000 people attended. Blackstar were there in full force and this year saw the launch of the Fly Bluetooth and the LT Echo 10 and 15. Signing on the booth were Blackstar endorsees Gus G, Kimberley from One Eyed Doll, Billy from Biohazard and Suzi Gardner from L7. To kick off the event and to help celebrate Blackstar’s 10th anniversary a special party was held at the Swing House rehearsal rooms in LA. Jared James Nichols performed with guest guitarists Gus G, Rudy Parris from the Voice USA and Sin Quirin from Ministry. A great start to what will be another huge year for Blackstar!
The Divine Comedy Tour 2017
Neil Hannon and The Divine Comedy are back on tour this week starting with three sold out shows in Paris. The band will be playing across Europe and arriving in the UK in late February to play three nights at the London Palladium. The tour is in support of their latest critically acclaimed album ‘Foreverland’. The third single from the album, ’To The Rescue’ has just been released and the accompanying video was filmed during the bands 2016 tour. Check the link to see Neil and the band using their Series One 45 and Artist 30 amps https://youtu.be/FyH6bnt56mU
Agnostic Front Tour
The legendary Agnostic Front kick off another European tour this week and will be heading to the UK to play at The Underworld in Camden this weekend. Guitarist Craig Silverman uses a HT Metal 100 stack and had this to say about the amp, ”The HT Metal 100 is by far the best and most versatile amplifier I have ever owned. From clean to crunch to blistering high gain, no other amplifier even comes close”. For more information on the band and their current tour visit http://www.agnosticfront.com
Blackstar 10th Anniversary Party
To kick off this years NAMM and to celebrate Blackstar’s 10th anniversary we held a special event at Swing House studios in LA this week. A number of special guests were invited to celebrate what has been an amazing 10 years and to do it in style we had some of our endorsees entertaining the crowd. The artists including Jared James Nichols, Sin Quirin from Ministry and Gus G. If you are attending NAMM this year be sure to visit our booth #6440 in hall A to see the all exciting products we have on show.
The 2017 NAMM show in Anaheim takes place between the 19th and 22nd of January. It’s the worlds largest trade-only event for the music products industry and Blackstar will be there in full force and this year we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary. To celebrate in style we will have a number of top artists signing on the booth including Gus G and we will also be releasing some very exciting new products. If you are at the show then make sure you pay a visit to our booth #6440 in hall A. For all of you who can’t make the show then there will be a NAMM special live webcast on our Facebook page on the 19th at 2pm (GMT).
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!