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Blackstratblues live.JPG
Background information
Birth name Warren Mendonsa
Born (1979-09-12) 12 September 1979 (age 39)
Bombay, India
Genres Blues
Instrumental Guitar
Rock & Roll
Pop rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Sound Engineer
Instruments Guitar
Bass Guitar
Fretless Bass
Drum Programming
Software Synthesizers
Years active since 1998
Labels Unsigned
Associated acts Zero
3 Guys & A Girl
Website Official Website

Blackstratblues is a solo project of Warren Mendonsa, who is a guitarist, composer and record producer. He is the nephew of Indian musician and celebrated Bollywood composer Loy Mendonsa of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy fame.[1]

Biography and playing history[edit]

Early Years: Late 1990s[edit]

After picking up the guitar at the age of 5, Mendonsa went on to play rhythm guitar in a few local bands with friends Siddharth Coutto (drums) and Girish 'Bobby' Talwar (rhythm guitar, bass). Sometime around 1997-98, they formed Zero, with Rajeev Talwar on vocals.

With Zero: 1998-2005[edit]

Over the years, Zero grew to enjoy nationwide popularity in India. With Warren, Zero released two albums and an EP - Albummed (1999), Hook EP (2002), & Procrastination (2005).

Besides his work in Zero, Warren Mendonsa recorded & released numerous instrumentals - the most popular works being Christmas in July, Spitleaf, & Evil- which enjoyed some fame on online music forums like Gigpad, & Harmony Central. He was also involved in many online collaborations with musicians - most notably Adam Martin, Ed DeGenaro and Zorran Mendonsa - which resulted in a few songs. In late 2004, Mendonsa moved to Auckland, New Zealand, thereby quitting Zero.

During this period, he was also a highly sought-after recording engineer and session guitarist in Bombay, having worked on various film soundtracks, advertising jingles, & other albums.


After moving to Auckland, Warren Mendonsa began to work on solo instrumental material. While visiting India, he reunited with Zero for a few gigs, most notably at the Great Indian Rock Festival 2006.

Nights in Shining Karma[edit]

Blackstratblues' debut album, Nights in Shining Karma was released on 18 April 2007 as a free digital-only download.

The album garnered significant appreciation and popularity on online music forums.[2][3][4]

Musical Influences and Playing Style[edit]

Warren is heavily influenced by the music of bands such as the Beatles, Queen, Eagles, Gary Moore, etc., largely blues and classic rock oriented, and typically uses Stratocasters. Most often, he uses a black stratocaster which led to the moniker "Blackstratblues". Mendonsa is known for his instantly recognisable, distinctive guitar sound and playing, incorporating immaculate phrasing and abandoning traditional, flashy "guitar hero" techniques, in favour of composing memorable melodies and playing with feel.[5][6]


Solo albums[edit]

With Zero[edit]

Year Artist Album
2000 Zero Albummed
2002 Zero Hook
2005 Zero Procrastination

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ In The Studio: Blackstratblues, 10 July 2012
  2. ^ Harmony Central Acapella Forum, 20 April 2007[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Petrucci Forum, 21 April 2007
  4. ^ Larry (20 April 2007), Harmony Central Acapella Forum
  5. ^ Gigpad, 30 August 2004, archived from the original on 12 October 2007
  6. ^ Harmony Central Acapella Forum, 20 April 2007[permanent dead link]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]