News Segment


November 28, 2004

Bel Air, CA – New record label Black Star Records officially announced the signing of rock guitarist Howard Leese at a gala event attended by hundreds in Bel Air. The party was also to announce the official launch of the new record label, as well as the release of Heaven & Earth’s CD-“Heaven & Earth, featuring Stuart Smith”, distributed by Burnside Distribution and available now in some stores nationwide. Full release will be first week of January, 2005.

Owned by Stuart Smith and Richie Onori, both well known musicians in LA and abroad, the new the label’s intent is to bring new fuel and flavor into the classic rock genre with fresh new music… hence their marketing tag, “New Classic Rock”. Onori, who coined the phrase, sees the need to fill a void that they see existing for the classic rock listener. Smith adds, “Classic rock catalogs continue to thrive in these hard times in the music business, so we feel confident that there is a strong base of listeners and buyers for our artists.”

Howard Leese, long-time guitarist for Heart, now working with singer Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company) will be doing a solo album. Much like Heaven & Earth’s CD it will be star-studded with some of the biggest rock vocal legends of our time. Mike Reno from Loverboy and Robbie Steinhardt of Kansas have already agreed to be on it. Other major rock vocalists that Howard has worked with through the years will also be included.

“It’s a noble enterprise,” says Leese, “it’s a label for musicians, by musicians. It’s not like working for executives in the big corporate labels. It’s an artistic environment in which to work, with people who know and understand the artistic mindset. I like that… and feel it will only enhance my work.”

Onori says, “We’re dedicated at Black Star to assisting our artists in getting the same kind of quality production and songwriting that made them famous in the first place. We’re proud to have Howard on our roster.” Smith adds, “I couldn’t be happier to have Howard as our first artist signed, it’s a great privilege to work with someone of his caliber, and with one of my best friends.”

Heaven & Earth’s new CD is also available on their website

Courtesy of Black Star