The Mustangs are a British blues rock band that was formed in Hampshire in 2001. Signed to the Trapeze Music label, they have recorded six albums, including Split Decision, which reached number 5 on the iTunes blues chart. They are unusual on the blues rock circuit as their albums are made of entirely original material. The Mustangs were nominated for Best Band at the 2010 British Blues Awards
The Mustangs were formed by Adam Norsworthy and Derek Kingaby after an impromptu jam session in the Fountain Pub in Rowland's Castle, Hampshire, in 2001. The Mustangs first came to national attention after winning the Eel Pie Club's Search for New Blues Talent competition in 2004.
The Mustangs have played and headlined a wide variety of gigs and blues festivals across the UK and Europe including Colne, Maryport, Blues on The Farm, Newark, Swanage, Skegness, Hyde Park, Goodwood, Zinc Paris, Gosport and Southsea. Their concerts showcase singer Norsworthy's dynamic energy: he runs and jumps about the stage throughout each concert, whilst maintaining a visible camaraderie with the other band members. Musician magazine has called them "compulsory for British blues rock fans".Record Collector magazine wrote of their "musical depth, sheer balls and plenty of heart and soul".
As well as their own material, in concert the group often plays some blues standards, though radically reinterpreting the arrangement to suit the band's "truly storming... ferocious" sound.Rock 'n' Reel (10), July-August 2008 These include Lead Belly's "Hands Off", Troyce Keane's "Annie Maybe" and Cyril Davies "Countryline Special".
Chiefly influenced by the British blues rock bands of the 1960s such as Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac, as well as Dr. Feelgood, the Mustangs also draw on more traditional blues influences such as Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Robert Johnson. The band's use of blues harp, played by Derek Kingaby, adds to an authentic, traditional blues sound.
The band's six albums to date have been well received. Blues In Britain magazine selected Nothing Stays the Same as one of its 20 albums of the year.Blues Matters magazine said of the same record, "This outfit has the potential to change how British blues is perceived and received."Rock'n'Reel magazine called Split Decision "the very definition of blues rock".
The majority of the songwriting is by Norsworthy, but all four members of the band have contributed songs to the albums.
The band's fifth album, Cut Loose, received a 5 star review in the May 2010 issue of R2 magazine, with reviewer Brian Smith commenting, "Cut Loose is a real treat...it drips with musicianship..it is infectiously funky...and downright beautiful." In the same year, as well as being nominated for best band at the British Blues Awards, Ben Mckeown and Jon Bartley were nominated for an award in their own instrument categories, Mckeown for Best Bass Guitarist and Bartley for Best Drummer.
The band's sixth album, Shaman & the Monkey, was released in October 2011. Blues in Britain said "the album continues the Mustangs' way with a catchy tune, first class musicianship and production values, and is worth adding to any serious blues/rock music collection." The band supported the release with a number of shows at high profile blues festivals across the UK including Maryport, Cambridge, Swanage, Newark and the Isle of Wight. The Mustangs left Cross Border later in 2011 and signed to the Trapeze Music label, who subsequently took over the release of the Shaman & the Monkey album, as well taking over the distribution of the band's entire back catalogue.
In December, 2012 Shaman & the Monkey was voted Best UK and European blues rock album by the prestigious Blues Underground Network The song 'Highwire', from Shaman & the Monkey, was nominated as Best Original Blues Song at the 2012 British Blues Awards. This was the band's fourth ever nomination at the Awards.
The band's seventh album, Speed of Love, was released on April 8th 2013. A single, Yours Sincerely, was released with an accompanying video and reached number 2 on the UK Blues Chart on April 23rd. In August 2014 they released their first live album, One Night In The West, which was recorded at the Swanage Blues Festival in 2013.