With all of the articles and press releases coming out featuring all the amazing new gear debuting at this week’s NAMM show in Anaheim, there was a release that warranted a second look as many of you may not be familiar with Trevor Wilkinson’s line of guitars. I have been fortunate enough to work with Trevor and Dennis Drumm at JHS over the last year, and this new Fret-King Black Label line of guitars is well worth a closer look.The goal with this line was to combine boutique design, custom-shop quality, and pro playability, at a price that is affordable to all players.
I have been using the Wilkinson Vintage Icon Tele for the past year and it has become one of my go-to guitars for the biggest shows we play. It’s hard to believe the extremely reasonable price-point while playing this guitar, as it more than holds it’s own next to some of the iconic guitars available today.
Here is the press release in it’s entirety:
Raising the bar… Introducing Fret-King Black Label
Worldwide trade distributor John Hornby Skewes & Co. Ltd and leading musical instrument designer Trev Wilkinson are delighted to announce the ground-breaking new Fret-King Black Label range of electric guitars and basses.
Black Label features 12 different instruments that combine tradition, boutique design, custom shop quality, pro playability and comfortable individuality. The range will receive its worldwide unveiling at the 2012 NAMM show, held between January 19th and 22nd in Anaheim, California.
The Black Label design brief was to prove that it is possible to create spectacular guitars that are totally acceptable as a real journeyman player’s working tool, fit for the highest profile player on the biggest arena stage in the world – and yet affordable to all.
Black Label takes a fresh view of how to bring real custom shop high-end features, the benefits they bring, and the advantages you get from instruments designed to be professional working tools.
Part of the Black Label design brief was to actually listen to pro players, and to work with them to create instruments that reflected their ideal guitar. The result of this collaboration between Trev Wilkinson and hugely experienced players like Jerry Donahue, Dave ‘Bucket’ Colwell, Gordon Giltrap, and Geoff Whitehorn – all players who have definitely paid their dues, reflect a huge variety of styles, and who, as well as being great players, know a thing or two about guitars – is a collection of artist-inspired guitars featuring attributes that all players will find useable, useful, and, above all, musical.
There are also standards to be recognised, passed and improved upon. The single cut Black Label Eclat, with peerless classic looks, and a tonal palette of such sophistication it could be three other guitars as well. The Country Squire is a magical fusion of the familiar with the contemporary. The Elise has a body style with a heritage that spans all musical styles, while the Corona, a moniker associated with high-end UK-built double-cut Fret-Kings for over two decades, builds on the roots of this icon. Meanwhile, the Super-Hybrid is radical, acoustic electric hybrid is so useable, and the Perception is a name synonymous with basses for real bass players.
Dennis Drumm, JHS’s Managing Director, said: “Fret-King Black Label is taking Trev Wilkinson’s affordable boutique guitars to a new level. We’ve worked with a group of amazing artists to produce a line of guitars and basses with flair and creative innovations that give you an incredible, tactile and emotional guitar playing experience.
“Part of the design brief was to prove the point that it’s possible to create guitars that really ‘raise the bar’ – while still being affordable to any player. We love a challenge – see these guitars and you’ll be amazed! Unique and distinctive, memorable and reliable, 101% playable. Black Label represents tomorrow’s classics today.”
And Black Label has already made waves with esteemed musicians and journalists. Dave Burrluck, Gear Reviews Editor at Guitarist magazine, said: “You’d be foolish not to audition the Fret-King Black Label range – the bar has been raised!”
For more information, visit the Fret-King website, and view an introduction to Black Label with Trev Wilkinson here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcMficw1R0Q&feature=player_embedded
JHS will be at Hall E 1212 at NAMM 2012, so make sure to stop by and see Black Label, as well as the entire ranges of Fret-King, Vintage, Santos Martinez and Encore guitars.
You can find the entire line of Wilkinson Guitars here:
John Hornby Skewes & Co. Ltd.: www.jhs.co.uk
Fret-King Black Label: www.fret-king.com/black_label.htm
Graham Oliver Vintage signature guitar: www.jhs.co.uk/vintageelectric.html#go
Paul Brett Vintage signature guitars: www.jhs.co.uk/paulbrett.html
Vintage ReIssued: www.jhs.co.uk/vintageelectric.html
Vintage ICON: www.jhs.co.uk/vintageiconguitars.html