The Rails

Singer/Guitarist — London

Name?

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.

What was the first song you played on repeat?
'Leaning On A Lamppost' (from Me and My Girl The Musical). Lupino Lane, the music hall star, is a distant relation of mine and he was in the original 1937 production of Me And My Girl. I went to see it a couple of times when I was a kid. I’ve been obsessed ever since.

One record you would keep forever?
The Pogues - 'Rum Sodomy And the Lash'. One of the greatest albums of all time in my opinion. Shane was on a roll when he wrote the tunes on this record.

A song from your favourite album?
'Do You Remember Walter' - From Kinks' ‘Village Green Preservation Society’

A song you wish you had written?
'A Girl Like You' - Edwyn Collins

A song that defines the teenage you?
'Hey Hey My My' - Neil Young

What was the last piece of music you bought?
'The Nashville Sound' - Jason Isbell

Is there a song you like that people wouldn’t expect?
'Leaning On A Lamppost' (from Me and My Girl The Musical)

Best love song of all time?
Anything off ‘In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning’ by Frank Sinatra

Best song to turn up loud?
Uncle Tupelo - 'Postcard'

Best song to bring people together?
The Youngbloods - 'Get Together'

Four songs by contemporary/new bands you can’t stop listening to right now?

- Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit - 'Molotov'
Jason is one of the best songwriters out there in my opinion. Love his last record. Every song is great.  

- GospelbeacH - 'California Steamer'
Hippie country rock from California made up from members of The Tyde and Beachwood Sparks.

- North Mississippi Allstars - 'Bird Without A Feather'
Keeping the Mississippi blues tradition alive. Cody and Luther Dickinson are great musicians and I never tire of hearing them.

- Little Barrie - 'I.5.C.A'
Really like the new Little Barrie album. Top guitar player.

Name?

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.

What was the first song you played on repeat?
'Leaning On A Lamppost' (from Me and My Girl The Musical). Lupino Lane, the music hall star, is a distant relation of mine and he was in the original 1937 production of Me And My Girl. I went to see it a couple of times when I was a kid. I’ve been obsessed ever since.

One record you would keep forever?
The Pogues - 'Rum Sodomy And the Lash'. One of the greatest albums of all time in my opinion. Shane was on a roll when he wrote the tunes on this record.

A song from your favourite album?
'Do You Remember Walter' - From Kinks' ‘Village Green Preservation Society’

A song you wish you had written?
'A Girl Like You' - Edwyn Collins

A song that defines the teenage you?
'Hey Hey My My' - Neil Young

What was the last piece of music you bought?
'The Nashville Sound' - Jason Isbell

Is there a song you like that people wouldn’t expect?
'Leaning On A Lamppost' (from Me and My Girl The Musical)

Best love song of all time?
Anything off ‘In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning’ by Frank Sinatra

Best song to turn up loud?
Uncle Tupelo - 'Postcard'

Best song to bring people together?
The Youngbloods - 'Get Together'

Four songs by contemporary/new bands you can’t stop listening to right now?

- Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit - 'Molotov'
Jason is one of the best songwriters out there in my opinion. Love his last record. Every song is great.  

- GospelbeacH - 'California Steamer'
Hippie country rock from California made up from members of The Tyde and Beachwood Sparks.

- North Mississippi Allstars - 'Bird Without A Feather'
Keeping the Mississippi blues tradition alive. Cody and Luther Dickinson are great musicians and I never tire of hearing them.

- Little Barrie - 'I.5.C.A'
Really like the new Little Barrie album. Top guitar player.

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