We think James deserved his spot supporting Martin Simpson at the Goose in 2012 purely on account of his chutzpah in turning up at the Mag and nonchalantly performing Seven Black Roses (a la early John Martyn) for his first tune!
But we’ve heard more of him since then and – obviously – we still think he deserved the spot! If you saw him we’re sure you’ll agree!
He played with his band that night, and they were all great! James has also played on the Goose stage at the Dulwich Festival Fair on Goose Green.
He’s presently living in the States, but he’s returning (we hope!) to support Dick Gaughan at The Ivy House in 2014, which he told us was an ambition of his – hey, your wish is our command, James! Well, within reason ……
Here’s the blurb:
With one hand scribbling lyrics onto the back of a roadmap, and the other held aloft to thumb down a ride, London born singer-songwriter James Riley is a troubadour of the kind many thought no longer exist.
A “fiendishly proficient” guitarist, singer, and a roadrunner to match, James chronicles the story of his experiences through clamorous, jubilant bluegrass ‘n’ soul and exquisitely spun yarns, sewn through ethereal, almost hymn-like ballads of love and life.
Already a seasoned performer at 24 (well, he’s a bit older than that now but we can’t remember how much :D), James has turned heads the world over, earning him spots on the same bill as blues legend Buddy Guy in Chicago. After recently returning from busking and hitchhiking his way from Amsterdam to Istanbul, James has been pedalling his unique class of pulsing, brazenly catchy acoustica throughout London and the South East, steadily gathering a word-of-mouth buzz in his wake.
Accompanied live by vocalist Stephanie Singer and cellist Danny Pagarani, not to mention Kitty Cassette, a spoons-player extraordinaire, The James Riley Band have built up a reputation for spirited live shows, consisting of what SuperGlad Records calls: “joyously melodic uptempo folk stomp-alongs … mixed with contemplative ballads, all delivered with brilliant technique”.
After pausing to record his debut EP in October 2011, James is soon to be back on the road with a slew of festival dates emerging for the summer of 2012, and a UK tour planned later in the year. But adventure is never far off, and this spring James also plans to take his music around Ireland… on horseback.
Keep an eye on James Riley, we have a feeling his name will be around for a long time …..