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james walbourne


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James Walbourne (born 1980, Muswell Hill, London, United Kingdom) is an English guitarist and singer/songwriter, who played with many artists before finally releasing a solo album (The Hill) in 2011.

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Best-selling novelist and part-time music critic Nick Hornby once described James Walbourne’s guitar work as “an unearthly cross between James Burton, Peter Green, and Richard Thompson,” and went on to add “Walbourne’s fluid, tasteful, beautiful solos drop the jaw, stop the heart, and smack the gob, all at the same time.”

Born in 1980 in the North London community of Muswell Hill, James Walbourne developed an enthusiasm for American roots music styles as a young man, and by 1999 he was playing with former Long Ryders leader Sid Griffin in his U.K.-based group the Coal Porters. In 2000, Walbourne made his recording debut with the British alt-country act the Peter Bruntnell Combination on their album Normal for Bridgwater, and recorded and toured with them through 2003. As word about Walbourne’s talents spread, he became an in-demand sideman, recording with Dust, Death in Vegas, and the Arlenes. Joe Pernice of the Pernice Brothers met Walbourne in 1998 when they were both booked on an ill-fated multi-artist tour of Holland; the two struck up a friendship, and in 2003 Walbourne joined the Pernice Brothers in time to tour with them in support of the album Yours, Mine & Ours. That same year, Walbourne was recruited to play guitar with Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt founder Jay Farrar on a string of solo shows.


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