Comprised of Kami Thompson and James Walbourne, the Rails are a husband-and-wife folk-rock group based in London. The duo’s combined pedigree — Kami is the daughter of Richard & Linda Thompson and Walbourne has been a member of both the Pogues and Pretenders — ensured there would be initial public interest in their music, but the high quality of their 2014 debut, Fair Warning, firmly established their songwriting abilities and creative chemistry. Over subsequent releases, the band have veered from traditional folk and Americana to exploring power pop on their more rock-oriented 2019 outing Cancel the Sun.

Prior to the Rails, Thompson had worked with the likes of Bonnie “Prince” Billy, her brother Teddy Thompson, and Sean Lennon, as well as being a member of the band Dead Flamingoes. For his part, Walbourne’s career has included stints with the Pretenders, the Pogues, Son Volt, Ray Davies, and the Pernice Brothers, as well as playing in the Dead Flamingoes with Thompson.

As the Rails, Thompson and Walbourne released their debut record, Fair Warning, in 2014. Co-produced by Edwyn Collins and featuring fiddle work by Eliza Carthy, the album was so hotly anticipated that Island Records decided to reopen their legendary pink label especially for its release. Largely featuring original material in the classic U.K. folk-rock vein, Fair Warning also included a handful of traditional folk songs. For their follow-up, the Rails headed to Nashville to record with Ray Kennedy (Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams), emerging in September 2017 with Other People. Their third album, 2019’s Cancel the Sun, moved away somewhat from the duo’s folk side and featured a more electric blend of alt-rock, power pop, country, and even baroque pop. ~ James Pearce