Posts Tagged ‘James Walbourne’

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Pretenders are pleased to announce brand new album ‘Hate For Sale’. Arriving July 17th 2020. Hate For Sale, produced by the revered Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur), is the latest studio album by The Pretenders via BMG records. The album features 10 new songs written collaboratively by Chrissie Hynde and the electrifyingly dynamic guitarist James Walbourne, in what is the first Hynde/Walbourne song writing collaboration to date.

The Pretenders’ latest single, “You Can’t Hurt a Fool” is a slinky and soulful ballad in which Chrissie Hynde sings about a woman commanding the room with diva like qualities. The timeless sounding track comes from the band’s brand-new album, Hate For Sale which was released on Friday 17th July. A nostalgic music video sets the scene with reflections of heroine’s dancing in the shiny silver chrome of a vintage ribbon microphone.

Hynde co-wrote all ten tracks on the new album with Pretenders’ guitarist, James Walbourne. “I wanted to write with [Walbourne] since day one,” Hynde said in a statement. “James is especially sought after and has recorded with Jerry Lee Lewis, Dave Gahan and the Rails, to name but a few. We always planned on writing while on the road, but as anyone in a band will tell you, being on tour is a procrastinator’s dream come true.”

Let’s recap on the Pretenders videos we’ve been graced with these past few months. This month sees the release of Hate For SalePretenders’ 11th studio album. Despite arriving 40 years after the band’s captivating 1980 self-titled debut, Hate For Sale expertly aligns with the band’s original oeuvre: jangling guitars, confessional vocals and no nonsense rock punch. In fact, for fans who have been following since the early days, the Bo Diddley beat of new single “Didn’t Want To Be This Lonely” even harks back to 1980’s “Talk Of The Town” B-side, “Cuban Slide.” 

Hynde played with future Devo member Mark Mothersbaugh in Saturday Sunday Matinee in 1967 when she was 16. She told Melody Maker, “I was so shy that I wouldn’t stay in the same room as the band to sing. I’d take the mike into the laundry room and shut the door.” Hynde only played one gig with the band, a show at an Ohio church hall. More than 40 years later, she opened for Mothersbaugh’s band, Devo. Hynde was an art student at Ohio’s Kent State University when, on May 4th, 1970, the National Guard were called in to control Vietnam protesters on campus and shot dead four students, with nine more wounded. The shocking event was memorialised in the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young track “Ohio,” which was recorded within three weeks of the incident and released a month later. “I heard the shots, I didn’t see the shooting,” Hynde recalled. “We all refused to leave and we were carried off campus.” In her autobiography,RecklessHynde wrote of her friend Jeff Miller, who had died in the shooting, “I knew Jeff Miller had been a fan of Neil Young, so I was happy that Young had become our spokesman, our voice.”‘

They’ve previously teased the record with singles “The Buzz” and “Hate for Sale,” which bring Hynde’s potent punk roots back to the surface. Check out the music videos, created in lockdown below. Pretenders drummer Martin Chambers, who remains the only original member with Hynde in the 2020 Pretenders line-up, was recommended to Hynde,  Motörhead’s Lemmy. “Lemmy was very instrumental in my history,” Hynde told us “Without him the Pretenders wouldn’t have happened.”

Made entirely under UK Covid Lockdown, director John Minton takes the band’s basic iPhone footage and turns it into slices of celluloid greatness.

Hate For Sale, produced by the revered Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur), is the latest studio album by The Pretenders via BMG. The album features 10 new songs written collaboratively by Chrissie Hynde and the electrifyingly dynamic guitarist James Walbourne, in what is the first Hynde/Walbourne song writing collaboration to date.

The official video for Didn’t Want To Be This Lonely by The Pretenders, from the new album ‘Hate For Sale’, out July 17th 2020.

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Following up 2016’s acclaimed Alone, “Hate For Sale” is the Pretender’s first album to be recorded with the now long-standing touring line-up of the group. Produced by the revered Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur) Hate For Sale is the Pretenders’ eleventh studio album overall and the first to be written collaboratively by Chrissie Hynde and electrifyingly dynamic guitarist James Walbourne. “I wanted to write with him since day one,” says Chrissie. “James is especially sought after and has recorded with Jerry Lee Lewis, Dave Gahan, and The Rails, to name but a few.” And on the single “The Buzz”, she adds, “I think we all know that love affairs can take on the characteristics of drug addiction. It’s about that.”

Hate For Sale, produced by the revered Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur), is the latest studio album by The Pretenders via BMG. The album features 10 new songs written collaboratively by Chrissie Hynde and the electrifyingly dynamic guitarist James Walbourne, in what is the first Hynde/Walbourne song writing collaboration to date.

The official video for Hate for Sale by The Pretenders, from the new album ‘Hate For Sale’, out July 17th 2020.

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The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde and James Walbourne recorded an atmospheric version of Bob Dylan’s “Standing in the Doorway” for the latest installment of their “Dylan Lockdown Series.”. Chrissie Hynde is keeping busy during this pandemic. She’s a got a Lockdown Series of Bob Dylan covers she’s recorded with Pretenders guitarist James Walborne. This is all in anticipation of the new Pretenders record coming in July. Since I can listen to Chrissie sing the phone book, here are the three covers they’ve done so far.

Like the original version on 1997’s “Time Out of Mind”, the revamped take stretches out past seven minutes, with Hynde softly singing over airy piano, organ, electric guitar and distant percussion. They paired the song with a video full of vivid shots of farmland, train tracks and raindrops trickling down window panes.

“Thanks one more to Tchad Blake on mixing duties and the whole Blake family for the video,” Hynde wrote on Instagram of the release, the third in their series following “In the Summertime” and “You’re a Big Girl Now.”

The Dylan covers precede the Pretenders’ upcoming 11th studio LP, “Hate for Sale”, out July 17th. The album features the previously issued title-track, “You Can’t Hurt a Fool” and “The Buzz,” the latter of which they paired with a surreal video.

I was so buoyed up by the new Dylan songs that I talked to Pretenders Guitar playing hot-shot James Walbourne and we decided it’s a good time to do those Dylan songs we’ve always talked about doing. Every singer-songwriter in the world covers the master’s songs and there is an endless supply of them. So we’ve started, and will do one a week until lockdown ends.

The First was off the Shot of Love album, In The Summertime. We did it from home on our phones. I did the rhythm – sent it to James, he added guitar , sent it back to me, i put on the vocal , sent it back to him, he put on some back up vocals and organ, then we sent it to Tchad Blake to tidy up. I know you don’t need the behind the scenes details so I won’t repeat myself on the next one.

Hynde and Walbourne co-wrote all the songs on Hate for Sale, the Pretenders record in over 21 years to feature founding drummer Martin Chambers.


There’s something different about The Rails on their brilliant third album. It’s not just the sound of the record, which is harder, tougher and rockier than ever before. Cancel The Sun is melodic and immediate, a record that brings together the musical pasts of Kami Thompson and James Walbourne – her family heritage, as the daughter of Linda and Richard Thompson, and sister of Teddy; his as guitarist for Son Volt, The Pogues and The Pretenders – in a record that sounds like a pure version of themselves. You could spend hours casting around for a term to describe it, but maybe the best one would be pinched from an Eliza Carthy album title: Anglicana – music that might originate in America, but is clearly and resolutely English.

Their debut, “Fair Warning” was among my favorite record of the year for two years in a row. That’s how much I loved that record. “Cancel The Sun” is their third, and Kami Thompson  and husband, Pretenders guitarist James Walbourne have expanded their musical horizons a bit further from the British folk of their debut. The sublime harmonies are still there. While some of the harder rocking tunes don’t quite work for me, “Cancel The Sun” has one of the most perfect Side Twos in recent memory, including my favorite song of the year, by anyone, “Something Is Slipping My Mind.”

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It’s not easy for bands to change direction when you seem to have hit a winning formula but that’s exactly what The Rails have done on their third album ‘Cancel the Sun’.

Kami Thompson is part of the legendary folk-rock dynasty headed by her dad Richard, and her husband James Walbourne has been playing guitar for loads of bands, including Son Volt and The Pogues. So perhaps it’s not that surprising the duo’s previous albums were more than a little folk-tinged, but the new one has a much broader musical palette, and definitely a harder edge to the writing.

“It’s funny our first album was lighter, so it’s tough to make that transition, we’ve done it in steps and degrees in the last three records, and we’ll maybe do some metal for the next one,” laughs James.

“The record we did, the ‘Other People’ album, was a step in that direction, but we wanted something that was a true reflection of ourselves. It is harder-edged and reflects the music we listen to a little more.”

Even though the album does contain the single, Mossy Well, which has a folk feel, and the dreamy Dictator has a deep baroque feel to it, Kami agrees their bigger sound is part of a natural progression for a band still firmly rooted in the English tradition, often citing The Kinks as their benchmark.

“I think it is definitely not as much of a folky record but if anything is just more English just in a modern way, muses Kami. “All the influences were always there with us but when we were making a folk record we obviously narrowed it down to that.

“I think we let ourselves have free rein this time without pigeon-holing anything, so we just felt liberated to do what we wanted to do.” Another big difference on this record is that Kami and James started to write songs together. It is always tricky for any writing partnership – you only have to ask Morrissey and Marr – but when you are married it can add an extra layer of tension.

“Something had to give as it wasn’t really working how we were doing it before, it was a bit competitive, and a bit tit for tat,” says Kami. “You can’t really see the wood for the trees, and you need someone to go that’s a terrible idea. “The main split is probably that I wrote the lion’s share of the lyrics, and James probably wrote more tunes than me. If I’m writing is it is invariably going to be a bit darker, I’m a grumpy cow.”

That darkness has crept into Kami’s lyrics which focus much more on the big issues of our time, including the global climate crisis. On Save The Planet she puts forward the provocative idea that only mankind’s mass suicide can save our planet from inevitable destruction.

“I think that song was just meant as a thought prompter, and you look around as people are labouring away at one tiny point at how this is all going to work out, in reality, everybody would have to take 18 steps back and make huge, huge life changes,” puts forward the defiant lyricist.

“We just wanted to make people think, and it’s obviously a slightly absurdly statement, but it would fucking solve the problem. I’m playing devil’s advocate, I’m obviously saying something absurd, but come on, give me how are you going to make it work?”

The Rails have previously been hands-on in the studio, but this time they recognised they needed to take a step back and get an experienced hand on the faders. They put in a call into legendary Britpop producer Stephen Street, who has worked with Blur and The Smiths, not expecting him to say yes, but he agreed to join them in Damon Albarn’s studio.

“I think the guitar should always be fucking loud in the mix and on a lot of records it is never loud enough,” asserts James as only a guitarist can.  “It was great to have Stephen Street producing the record as he is all about guitars, so it worked.

“He’s very hands-on, but we handed the reins over to Stephen as we wanted to someone to produce for a change as we’ve had quite a lot to do with the production in the past. On this particular record, we wanted to get that Stephen Street sound, that thing that he does, and we trusted him every step of the way.”

As well as his day job James remains in demand as a guitarist currently playing with The Pretenders as well as helping write their forthcoming album. He must have picked something along the way sharing the stage with Chrissie Hynde who as well as being a top guitarist in her own right is a master of creating classic pop songs.

“We’ve just signed off on the next Pretenders record, and weirdly we’ve just done it with Stephen Street. It has rubbed off in more ways than just songwriting really as the first gig I ever had with them I realised ‘oh fuck, you’ve got to step up and be a guitar player’, and you can’t hide away as  it is ‘oh, fuck here we go.’

“We talk endlessly about songwriting, what’s great in music and bands. It’s become a big part of my life and Kami’s, and it has rubbed off on what makes a great pop song.”

The other big difference is before doing this record James decided to stop drinking, and he has seen the positive impact of that decision on his work both in the studio and on the road.

“You know, it hindered the work for me, and I would say this record, and the writing of The Pretenders album, are down to giving it up as it is the biggest thing I have ever done really. It is a totally different lifestyle as it catches up with you eventually, but now I get things done.”

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From the Secret Sessions, The Rails have covered the song Low Expectations band members Kami Thompson and her husband James Walbourne, the debut album Fair Warning was released in May on Island Records.

The Rails are English singer songwriter Kami Thompson youngest daughter of Richard and Linda Thompson and James Walbourne well know guitarist fr his work with Son Vault and most notabaly The Pretenders, reaching deep into their musical heritage a true folk blend since the early seventies, produced with the assistance of Edwyn Collins and featuring Folk Eliza Carthy The Rails debut album ” FAIR WARNING ” with traditonal and original songs