The Rails


Wednesday 3rd May 2017


James Walbourne

Where are you from?
Muswell Hill, London

What do you do?

Play guitar, write songs, sing.

Describe your style in three words?

Rocker. Sometimes long hair sometimes not. 

If you could make a record with anyone from history?
Elvis. The original and still the best. He’s the whole reason I wanted to play music.

What’s the best gig/show you’ve ever been to?
So many to choose from but my favourite show in recent memory was The Replacements at The Roundhouse in London. Restored my faith in rock music.

What British music icons inspire your sound today?
Ray Davies - have been lucky enough to work with him in the past and he remains one of my heroes.
Also, Richard Thompson. Still writing classic songs and playing guitar better than ever.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history
Alan Lomax, the great American musicologist and the guy that recorded Leadbelly.

Which British subculture means the most to you?
I’m going to borrow from your Dave Davies interview here - ‘Pubs and Football - up the Arsenal!’ - couldn’t have said it better myself.

If you could share the bill with any British band in history?
The Alex Harvey Soul Band. My dad used to put Alex on at the Green Man pub in Great Portland St back in the '60s. He used to go and play there after he got done playing in the pit for the musical Hair. He was a great performer by all accounts - some of the footage of him with SAHB (his later band) is incredible. I feel a connection to the British blues scene in the '60s as playing in pubs and bars was how I cut my teeth as a musician when I was young. Breaks my heart to see the pubs disappearing at such an alarming rate.

What music did you listen to growing up?
A lot of 50’s and 60’s American music. Mostly Rock’n’Roll, Blues, Country, Jazz. My dad took me to see everyone in concert from Frank Sinatra to Miles Davis to Stevie Ray Vaughan. (Track- Jerry Lee Lewis - What Made Milwaukee Famous).

The Rails are husband and wife folk-rock duo James Walbourne and Kami Thompson. Based in London, they released their first album in 2014, with their latest LP release 'Other People' coming out in September 2017.

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