“Thomson’s debut album was an introduction to a songwriter already sounding beyond his years in terms of his songs and their lived-in delivery. That promise has been refined and stylistically expanded on this exceptional follow-up.” • The Music
When an artist appears on the scene with his own identifiable style and is comfortable and confident in his ability as a writer and performer you know he’s studied the greats and explored and absorbed the essential elements of their craft.
Newcastle, NSW musician and songwriter James Thomson’s arrival in 2013 with his debut, self-titled album caught the ears of plenty of journalists and fans of his blues, folk and country stylings. You could heard the sum of his influences in the music; the ghosts of Robert Johnson, Jimmy Reed and Hank Williams – yet Thomson had filtered them into his own stories, relaxed singing style and accomplished guitar playing.
Later in 2013, Thomson’s musical journey became a geographical one as he embarked on a three month song writing trip through the US. The resulting songs formed his sophomore album Cold Moon (2015) which saw him expand his sound stylistically with a full band, a sharper pen and a direct line into tales of heartache and desire in their many forms. Thomson had achieved a resonant balance of melody, emotion and authenticity.
Widespread critical acclaim greeted the release of ‘Cold Moon’ and with his band The Strange Pilgrims, Thomson has been clocking up the miles along the eastern coastline of Australia playing hundreds of shows. The band have grown into the songs, invested them with a new energy and dug deep into the swing and groove at the heart of the music. The resulting ragged, freewheeling and soulful rock ’n’ roll vibe adds another layer for Thomson to work with; their recent performances at festivals such as The Gumball, Nannup Music Festival, Dashville Skyline, Out on the Weekend, Ocean Rhythms and more, have provided a stunning glimpse at the songs that will make up Thomson’s eagerly awaited third album.
From singer/songwriter to band leader; Thomson has found the perfect fusion of his acoustic blues/folk origins and an electric sound that draws on the masters such as Bob Dylan, JJ Cale, Taj Mahal and The Rolling Stones. That rich tapestry of sounds and influences will take shape on Thomson’s forthcoming third album as he continues to evolve his song writing through his musical and life experiences.
“… (Cold Moon) is a really great album.” • Paul Gough, ABC Radio National
“… I really dig this guy.” • Peter Jesperson, Twin/Tone Records, The Replacements
“… one of the finest local Americana albums of recent years.” • Chris Familton, The Music
Newcastle – New South Wales, Australia
James Thomson – lead vocals, guitar
Marty Burke – guitar, vocals
Craig Rattray – bass
Tim Burns – drums