A brilliant and innovative 12-string guitar player, James Blackshaw was born in 1981 in London, where he continues to make his home. Another in a long string of amazing British acoustic guitar wizards, Blackshaw has been compared at various times to Bert Jansch, Davy Graham, Robbie Basho, John Fahey, Glenn Jones, Jack Rose, and Leo Kottke, among others, but his sound, often modal and based on improvising across set themes, is entirely his own. Blackshaw released several limited CD-R albums as he began his career, including 2004’s Celeste and Lost Prayers and Motionless Dancers, 2005’s Sunshrine, and the live Waking into Sleep in 2006. Important Records issued O True Believers in 2006, after which Blackshaw moved to Tompkins Square Records, which released The Cloud of Unknowing in 2007 and began reissuing his black catalog (Celeste and Sunshrine both reappeared from Tompkins Square in 2008). A second Tompkins Square CD of new material, Litany of Echoes, was also issued in 2008. Released in 2010, All Is Falling featured Blackshaw working in the studio with electric 12-string guitar for the first time.
Biography by Steve Leggett • allmusic.com