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James Yorkston Biography

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James Yorkston was born in Kingsbarns, a small village in Fife, Scotland. At the age of eight, Yorkston started playing music and fell in love with the craft. At the age of 17, he moved from Fife to the larger city of Edinburgh with his girlfriend. It was at the same time that he became involved with a garage rock and punk band called Huckleberry, with Yorkston being the group's bass player. In 1996, he performed his first acoustic show after a friend working in a record shop picked Yorkston as an opening act for Bert Jansch in Edinburgh. The acoustic and punk rock genres were something the musician loved equally, but he chose the acoustic folk route. In 2000, under the name "J. Wright Presents," Yorkston recorded a demo tape at home, sending it to John Peel, who played the song on his program immediately. Yorkston also sent a tape to John Martyn, requesting an opening slot on his Edinburgh show. Martyn invited Yorkston to be his opening act on his entire 30-date tour. "Moving Up Country" was released as a single in October 2000 on Bad Jazz Records. In January 2001, the song was released as a 7" single. Exactly a year later, Yorkston released a split single with the Lone Pigeon. In May 2002 Yorkston and his supporting cast the Athletes released an EP called St. Patrick. In June Yorkston released his debut album, Moving Up Country. Citing Anna Briggs, Lal Waterson, Nick Drake, and Malagasy guitarist D'Gary as musical influences, Yorkston also has opened for Lambchop, Turin Brakes, the Divine Comedy, and Gemma Hayes. The Someplace Simple EP appeared in December 2003. In February 2004 Yorkston and his group hit the studio with producer Kieran Hebden of Four Tet. The results of the session were released in late 2004 as Just Beyond the River on Domino. The following year the Spanish label Houston Records issued the EP Hoopoe, which included five new songs, among other things, and in 2007 Yorkston's third full-length, The Year of the Leopard, came out in the U.S. (it had already hit British shelves that previous fall). ~ Jason MacNeil, Rovi

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