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Hot on the heels of a year spent in full swing for this “9‐piece bluegrass, folk and soul explosion”, April 28th 2013 sees the release of The James Riley Band’s debut EP "Lay Me Down" and a UK tour to boot. Blending “joyously melodic” songwriting with a soulful intensity, The James Riley Band weave a tapestry of styles, fusing influences from the guitar‐led songcraft of John Martyn, the swooning strings of Bill Withers and the jubilant abandon of Springsteen, all compounded into an electrifying live experience.
2012 saw the band named Winners of The Mayor of London: Gigs Competition 2012 after seeing off competition from 500+ other acts and dazzle the festival circuit at Secret Garden Party, BT London Live and Shrewsbury Folk Festival to name a few. Sell out shows at The Bedroom Bar and The Bedford, and support slots with the likes of Martin Simpson and Melodica, Melody + Me also helped to gather momentum as a gig-heavy autumn drew into an winter in the studio.
The band formed in late 2011 after James returned to London from hitchhiking and busking his way to Istanbul, armed with a handful of new songs and stories. A mid-‐Atlantic by birth and a roadrunner by nature, James has also gigged extensively in America, supporting blues legend Buddy Guy in Chicago and gaining nationwide FM radio exposure on West Coast Live.