Close Up on James Riley

Did you know that every week in Brixton and Camden there’s the chance to see a top class band playing crowd-pleasing Americana and country classics? The rotating cast of players may include AMA UK award winners and Champions of The World. Leading this ragtag bunch of talents is versatile Anglo-American singer-songwriter James Riley.

We first encountered Riley enthralling folk fans on the banks of the Thames at UnampliFire festival in 2017. Last year, he was a worthy runner-up to our Daisy Chute in the Coffee Music Project contest.


You can catch Riley performing a full set of songs from his latest album, Transatlantica, at Green Note on May 16. He’ll be backed by Thomas “Champion of The World” Collison and acclaimed fiddle player James Gavin. The set is sure to include dynamic songs like New York Minute. Check out this incredible video that Riley cut together.

Aside from that special headline event, Riley and his supergroup band delight merry revellers at the Brixton and Camden Blues Kitchen venues every week with souped up bluegrass infused covers of songs like Jolene and Boys of Summer (the non-pop punk, non-Black Flag version).

If you’re down for a party, head to Brixton Blues Kitchen on a Friday night for a singalongable country/Americana/bluegrass experience. It’s free. Just be aware that you will never ever be as drunk as some of the people there!

For a full band experience, try Camden Blues Kitchen on select Thursday nights (additional Champions of The World may be included).

If you are a performer yourself, the ‘Blues Jam’ at Brixton Blues Kitchen on Wednesday night is the place for you. Arrive at 7:30 p.m. to sign up to take a turn on stage backed up by award-winning players like Thomas Collison and CJ Hillman. Riley is on hand as compère and to perform with the house band at various points through the night.

Click here to find out more about James Riley and to book tickets for his headline show at Green Note.

Check The Blues Kitchen website for specific performance dates and times.

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