James Walbourne

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James Walbourne
The Rails Cambridge Folk Festival 50th Anniversary (14645013448).jpg
Background information
Birth nameJames Walbourne
Born (1980-02-02) 2 February 1980 (age 40)
Muswell Hill, London, England
GenresEnglish folk, British folk rock, hard rock, alternative rock
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, mandolin, accordion, harmonium, keyboards
Years active1980–present
LabelsCapitol, PolyGram, Shout! Factory
Associated actsThe Pretenders
The Bunch
The Pogues
Pernice Brothers
Son Volt
The Kinks
Linda Thompson
Kamila Thompson
French Frith Kaiser Thompson
Danny Thompson
Teddy Thompson
Peter Bruntnell
The Golden Palominos
Pete Zorn
The Rails
Mothers Little Helper

James Walbourne is a British singer, guitarist, and multi-instrumentalist. He is the lead guitar player in The Pretenders as well as one-half of The Rails.


When he was young he wanted to play in clubs around America and to fulfill his dream he left school to go on a tour in the US with Peter Bruntnell and there he became a member of the bands Pernice Brothers and Son Volt.[1] He became a member of The Kinks’ front-man Ray Davies’s solo band and of The Pogues. In 2008, he was recruited to The Pretenders by Martin Chambers just before the Breakup the Concrete tour.[2]

In 2005 he formed a band, Royal Gun, with his brother Ron Walbourne but that disbanded after a short tour of England and the US. In 2010, he started working on his first solo album The Hill, and it was released in 2011 by Heavenly Records.[3][4]

Family and music[edit]

In 2007, when Linda Thompson was working on her album Versatile Heart, the author Nick Hornby, introduced Walbourne to Thompson where he met Kami Thompson for the first time, but their intimacy did not grow and nothing came of it at the time. In 2011, they accidentally met in Los Angeles at the 50th-anniversary show for McCabe's Guitar Shop and this time their relationship grew and the pair eventually married in 2012.[5][6]

They founded The Rails and released their first album Fair Warning on Island Records.[7]


Peter Bruntnell - Normal For Bridgwater Slow River Records 1999

Dust - A Dirt Track Odyssey Bar De Lune LUNECD16 2002

Peter Bruntnell - Ends Of The Earth Back Porch, Virgin 2002

Death In Vegas - Scorpio Rising Concrete 2002

Peter Bruntnell - Played Out Loose 2004

Peter Bruntnell - Ghost In A Spitfire Loose 2005

Bap Kennedy – The Big Picture 2005

Pernice Brothers - Discover A Lovelier You Ashmont Records 2005

Pernice Brothers - Nobody's Watching Ashmont Records 2005

Saint Etienne - What Have You Done Today Mervyn Day? (Original Soundtrack Recording)

Foreign Office 2006

Pernice Brothers - Live A Little Ashmont Records 2006

Edwyn Collins - Home Again Heavenly 2007

Linda Thompson - Versatile Heart Rounder Records 2007

Pretenders - Break Up The Concrete Shangri-La Music 2008

Pretenders* - The Best Of / Break Up The Concrete Rhino Records 2009

Joe Pernice - It Feels So Good When I Stop - Novel Soundtrack One Little Indian, Ashmont

Records 2009

Jerry Lee Lewis - Mean Old Man Verve Forecast 2747091 2010

Pernice Brothers - Goodbye, Killer Ashmont Records ASHM012 2010

Pretenders - Live In London Strobosonic 2010

Shane MacGowan & Friends - I Put A Spell On You Independent Records Ltd. 2010

Peter Bruntnell - Black Mountain U.F.O. Manhaton Records Hatman 2027 2011

Dead Flamingoes - Habit EP AED 2012

Bap Kennedy - The Sailor's Revenge (2012)

Linda Thompson - Won't Be Long Now Pettifer Sounds 2013

Peter Bruntnell - Black Mountain U.F.O. Manhaton Records Hatman 2027 2011

James Walbourne - The Hill Heavenly HVNLPC84 UK 2011

James Walbourne - Drugs And Money EP Heavenly – HVN230CD 2011

Linda Thompson - Won't Be Long Now Pettifer Sounds 2013

Edwyn Collins - Understated – AED Records, 2013,

The Rails - Fair Warning Island Records 2014

The Rails - West Heath EP Island Records 2014

The Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions (The Rails) – digital download only 2014

Thompson - Family Fantasy 2014

Jerry Lee Lewis - Rock & Roll Time Vanguard 2014

Edwyn Collins - Studio Live Session Liechtenstein Society of Sound Music, Real World Records 2014

Dave Gahan & Soulsavers* - Angels & Ghosts Columbia 2015

Soulsavers* - Kubrick San Quentin Recordings 2015

Sarah Cracknell - Red Kite Cherry Red 2015

The Rails - Australia E.P Rails EP002 2015

Peter Bruntnell - Nos Da Comrade Domestico Records DMR1962 2016

Juliette Lewis - Future Deep No Label (Juliette Lewis Self-Released) 2016

The Rails - Other People Sony/Psychonaut Sounds 2017

The Pretenders - Alone/Alive 2017

Mother’s Little Helper - Live At The Boogaloo 2017

Solo albums[edit]

Title Album details
The Hill · Released: 27 January 2011

· Label: Heavenly

Albums with The Rails[edit]

Title Album details
Fair Warning · Released: 2014

· Label: Island Records & Mighty Village

Other People · Released: 2017

· Label: Psychonaut Sounds


  1. ^ McCormick, Neil (2014-05-09). "The Rails: a new folk rock romance". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  2. ^ "Chrissie Hynde: If It Gets Polite—Game Over". Premierguitar.com. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  3. ^ "James Walbourne | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  4. ^ "Album: James Walbourne, The Hill (Heavenly)". The Independent. 2011-01-30. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  5. ^ Lester, Paul (2014-01-10). "The Rails (New band of the day No 1,675)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  6. ^ Sheffield, Hazel (2014-04-24). "A ticket to ride with the Rails". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  7. ^ Denselow, Robin (2014-05-01). "The Rails: Fair Warning review – Kami Thompson and James Walbourne's bold new folk duo". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-01-19.

External links[edit]