James Blackshaw (born in London in 1981) is a British guitarist and pianist currently based in Hastings, Sussex. He is highly-regarded for his pieces for solo 12-string guitar, nylon-string classical guitar and piano.
Strongly inspired by the 60s Takoma school of guitarists, minimalist composers and European classical music, Blackshaw employs fingerpicking techniques to create drones, overtones and repeating patterns, alongside a strong inclination for melody, to create instrumental music that is both intelligent, hypnotic and emotional.
Born in London, United Kingdom in 1981, Blackshaw has released a range of solo studio albums, plus EPs and live recordings, and has appeared on numerous compilations since 2003. Throughout he has received praise, and earned places on Best of Year lists from online and printed publications such as Pitchfork, Billboard, The Wire, The Observer, The Times, Uncut, The New York Times, Rolling Stone Magazine, The Onion, Magnet and Acoustic Guitar Magazine among others.
Blackshaw has performed and recorded as a member of Current 93 and with Jozef van Wissem as Brethren of the Free Spirit and toured and played shows with artists such as Swans (whose Michael Gira signed Blackshaw to his Young God label to release two albums in 2009 and 2010), Grails, Meg Baird (Espers), Mountains, Glenn Jones, Sir Richard Bishop, José González, Peter Walker, Alex de Grassi, Lubomyr Melnyk and Hauschka.
He has toured extensively in the United States, Europe and Japan, playing such institutions as the ICA, the Barbican and Merkin Hall, NYC as part of the New York Guitar Festival. Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, invited Blackshaw to perform at All Tomorrow's Parties 2010.
His music has been featured multiple times on National Public Radio in the US, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4 and has been used both on TV and in one feature length film, Sebbe.Important Records released Love Is the Plan, The Plan Is Death, James Blackshaw's ninth studio album on CD/LP in 2012.
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