If you're a Richard Thompson, Richard and Linda Thompson and 69-72 Fairport fan this is an album for you. Beautiful vocals, harmonies,lyrics, melodies, traditional and new songs. English Folk-Rock at its best. Some of the guitar parts are so Richard Thompson I thought it was him. But the album is not just an imitation of the influences, it sounds very fresh and uplifting and deserves to be on the Island label. James Walbourne and Kami Thompson are talented in their own right but 50% x 2 summed here gives you 150%. Additionally the production work by Edwyn Collins is absolutely spot on. I've listened to it 4 times in 2 days and its doing one of those unfolding things, where the more you listen, it develops more and more depth even though it was very likable from word go. 2 final comments - 1 'Fair Warning ' is particularly stunning and 2 BUY IT NOW!!!
This is a wonderful album and given the pedigree of Kami Thompson and James Walbourne,thats hardly surprising.Anyone who has albums by the earlier line ups of Fairport Convention or anything by Richard and Linda Thompson or even the solo albums by these two talented musos,should get hold of Fair Warning,its a strong candiate for my album of the year.
This is a wonderful CD. I can't praise it enough. Perhaps because of the Thompson connection there is a feel of some of Richard's music on some tracks, particularly the standout 'Send her to Holloway'. The musicianship is excellent throughout. I was particularly impressed by James' guitar work. The vocals blend beautifully and don't suffer at all on the more acoustic moments. Both traditional tracks included are highlights. Bonnie Portmore is a lilting ballad, whereas their version of William Taylor lopes along with some muscle. I have always loved Jim Moray's take on William Taylor. Dare I say that this is an even better effort. All in all, this CD deserves to be one of the albums of the year.
I stumbled across The Rails whilst at The Larmer Tree Festival. I didn't know who they were but was meeting a couple of mates at the bar by the stage they were sound checking on. Whilst waiting I witnessed a bust up between James and the sound guy and was immediately drawn to the edge that James demonstrated in his passion to get the sound right. This made me stay to watch their set and I'm glad I did, I was blown away! I immediately purchased the album on the back of what I heard and instantly recognised all of the songs I heard live. To me the vocals are made for each other with wonderful harmonies particularly on the track Habit. Their musicianship is first class as is the songwriting, this is a must own album for all genuine music lovers!
I first noticed James Walbourne's talents when he opened up at a couple of Justin Townes Earle gigs. Justin the son of American singer songwriter Steve Earle could possibly offer Kami Thompson some advice on how to follow famous parents into the music business.
Some say theres no place for nostalgia in music, I say the best modern music being made today has one foot in the past and just having the ability to write your own material makes you a traditionalist to start with these days . Yes the music here does echo the music of Kami's parents Richard and Linda Thompson but Kami's voice blended with James does have an identity and versatility of its own. On one playing there is enough to suggest that The Rails can forge their own path. If this review seems short its because Ive only listened to this offering once, there are many highlights though but on first listen Breakneck Speed is incredibly catchy. The Rails on this offering should have many people joining them on their journey.
I stumbled upon The Rails by pure chance at William's Green stage at Glastonbury and was totally blown away, so much so that I went to see them again the next day at The Park stage. I bought the album the next day and have not stopped playing it. I tried to see The Rails again at Lahmar Tree but was unable to get there.
The other reviews mention their parentage which means nothing to me. The music is a mix of rock and folk which works really well. My favourite track is Breakneck Speed. I'm hungry for more from The Rails.
I would urge you to see this band live if possible. I've dropped one star, probably unfairly, just because I think the album is a little restrained and would have been better if it were live. But then again I love live music!
So Island Records have resurrected the 'Pink' folk label for a new act's first release. Can it really be worth it? Oh yes it can! THis is a wonderful release that has all the echoes of the heritage of the 'pink' label. Of course it is impossible to listen to this without recognising the parentage of the female vocalist (Kami is of course the daughter of Richard and Linda Thompson) and this husband and wife performance (Kami and her husband James Walbourne) reveals that passion without being simply a retreading of the past. This album has power, passion, tradition and a blossoming future. There are a lot of offspring seventies folk family around today, Blair Dunlop, Eliza Carthy, Teddy Thompson, a variety of Wainwrights and many more... but this is perhaps the release that has brought me the biggest smile. Buy it... you won't be disappointed!
I have to admit I'd not heard of James Walbourne before, and Kami I only knew as the daughter of Richard and Linda. On the basis of this release we appear to have the new R&L. The album is accomplished, doesn't try to be showy, and is well recorded and well played. Oh, and the music is really rather fine! The homage to Richard and Linda Thompson is evident throughout, and it sounds as if it could have been recorded any time in the last 40 years, which rather than making it dated, makes it timeless.
Very highly recommended. I'll be keeping an ear open for more from them.
This really is a gem. I bought it 'on spec' thanks to the parentage of Kami Thompson! Not remotely disappointed, strong songs ('Send her to Holloway', the best, like Richard Thompson at his acerbic best!), varied approches, wonderful melodies and superb playing (love Eliza Carthy's fiddle playing!). if you love classic English Folk-Rock (and who, with any taste doesn't?), you will love this, believe me. Stunning record.