"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
James Thomson is an acclaimed songwriter and musician based in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Thomson’s music tells an authentic story; masterfully pairing his enigmatic lyrics and vocals with blues, roots, country and rock influences. On the back of releasing two celebrated albums, James Thomson (2013) and Cold Moon (2015), James has earned a justifiable reputation as a leading figure within Australia’s Alt. Country/Americana scene. The high-quality songwriting and performances captured on these albums soon saw James and his band embark on a string of National tours where they established a reputation as an exceptional live act. Their hard work on the road was rewarded with invitations to tour alongside international artists Mark Olson (The Jayhawks), Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers), Robert Ellis, Joshua Hedley and Johnny Fritz, as well as invitations to perform at Nannup Music Festival, The Gumball Festival, Leaps and Bounds, Dashville Skyline and Bridgetown Blues Festival.
Born in Sydney, James spent most of his youth shifting between semi-rural parts of NSW.
While in the State’s Central West, James’ Grandfather (himself a musician) introduced James to the music of Hank Williams, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson. Country music’s timeworn sense of existential and physical restlessness; its themes and stories of search and salvation evidently resonated with James who soon swapped playing the saxophone, for an acoustic guitar. After moving to Newcastle in his late teenage years James’ became enamored with the music of Jackson C. Frank, Neil Young, Bert Jansch, Bob Dylan and Robert Johnson. Up until that time James had been content as a singer and a guitar player but the discoveries of these artists - and in particular Dylan, changed everything. James was looking for a way to combine these influences and began writing his own songs at a furious pace in his early 20’s. When a demo recording of these early songs made their way to Stuart Coupe (ex-Paul Kelly, ex-Hoodoo Gurus), he quickly signed James to his Laughing Outlaw Records label and released Thomson’s self-titled debut album in 2013, and a follow up release Cold Moon in 2015.
In late 2018 Thomson recorded his third album Golden Exile (out March 2020) at Melbourne’s Union Street Studios with Engineer Rodger Bergodaz at the helm. In six days, Thomson and a stellar band featuring Steve Hadley (Paul Kelly, Tex, Don and Charlie), Shane Reilly (Lost Ragas, Tex Perkins Band), Tracy McNeil and Sean McMahon crafted a superbly assured record, that represents another artistic leap forward for Thomson. The imminent release of Golden Exile and a subsequent National Tour looks set to make 2020 a major year for this gifted Australian artist.
“...one of the finest local Americana albums of recent years - its that good.”
– Chris Familton (The Music)
“The moment Cold Moon stirs to life, you’re minded of those softer spoken Heartworn Highways outlaws – Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Townes Van Zandt. There’s no agenda besides telling the story via the path of least resistance.”
- Martin Jones (Rhythms Magazine)
“...Cold Moon is a really great album."
- Paul Gough
“...I really dig this guy.”
- Peter Jesperson (Twin/Tone Records, The Replacements)