Born of a transatlantic relationship, James grew up in South East London listening to the folk and soul sound of 70s America and wrote his first melody at the age of four. His first guitar, acquired at the age of nine, became the tool for surviving the tumult of a nowhere place, and helped James find somewhere he felt he belonged. In his early twenties, he took off, alone once again, hitchhiking and busking through Europe from Amsterdam to Istanbul, writing songs along the way. Back in the UK, these songs became a band, but eventually James had to shed another skin, and disembarked in Nashville, Tennessee. Here he found his producer and they set about making the album which had travelled with him to his maternal homeland, where it could finally get free.
“Awesome… like the Allman Brothers meets the Seeger Sessions”
“Riley writes with a deftness often reserved for musicians twice his age”
"One of my highlights of 2014"
Verity Sharp, BBC Radio 3
“It hooked us on first listen…from the harmonies to the guitar work there’s nothing to not like”
Folk Radio UK
“James Riley won’t be one of the best kept secrets on the London folk scene for much longer”
For Folk’s Sake
Winner of the Mayor of London: Gigs Competition 2012