Walden band to release debut album with Saffron Hall gig

Four people against a flint wall: one holds a double bass, one a banjo, one a guitar and one a hand-drum

James White and the Wild Fire (L-R: Brooke Bond, Ed Goldsmith, James White, Lee Dorrington) - Credit: Supplied by James White and the Wild Fire

A Walden-based band will celebrate the launch of their debut album with a Saffron Hall concert.

James White and the Wild Fire's Making Tracks is due for release on Saturday June 5, with tickets already on sale for a 5pm gig at Saffron Hall on the same date.

Part-country, part-Americana musician James said he is grateful for the opportunity to perform in his hometown after putting his solo tour on hold after the outbreak of Covid-19.

James said: "The response has been absolutely insane.

"Saffron Hall is a venue on the same circuit as the Royal Albert Hall.

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"My jaw almost hit the floor when they approached me to play.

"I couldn't believe it!

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"I feel very grateful to the people of Saffron Walden for supporting us and helping to get us here."

Four people: A woman on a cello, a boy on a cajón hand-drum, one jumping in the air with a guitar, and one on a banjo.

James White and the Wild Fire will release their debut album on June 5 - Credit: Supplied by James White and the Wild Fire

The band's album Making Tracks marks James' first foray into county and bluegrass music after a solo career.

Once an indie-rock artist, he played at Glastonbury Festival after organisers named him an emerging talent in 2017.

He has completed two-and-a-half European tours, with his last cut short in March 2020 following the outbreak of the pandemic.

James now joins banjoist Ed Goldsmith, Brooke Bond on the double bass and Lee Dorrington on the cajón hand-drum for his new band project and album.

His album also features Paul Price-Smith on harmonica.

"Over the last few years, I have fallen in love with country artists such as Tyler Childers," James said.

"With that in mind, it felt like a nice new challenge."

A slightly faded image of a man playing a guitar: Tyler Childers

Tyler Childers, whose music inspired James White to change his sound from indie-rock to part-country, part-Americana folk. Picture: Mia Naome - Credit: Mia Naome

His EP Making Tracks contains four songs, two of which are reworks from his solo career, while one is over 100 years old.

The Saffron Hall concert will only be James' second performance since February 2020.

He added: "It has been a long year for everyone and I really hope everyone can find a bit of enjoyment in the normality.

"I've truly struck gold to work with Brooke, Lee and Ed."

The final few tickets for the gig at Saffron Hall are on sale online: https://events.saffronhall.com/whats-on/view/james-white-the-wild-fire

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