Hilary James Albums

English Sketches

Pay by PayPal or credit/debit card.
Download link shown after purchase.

Prefer CDs?
Click here for physical products

Hilary James’ CD of English music featured in the Sunday Times top 10 world music albums for 2011….

A celebration of English rural life, landscape, weather and seasons in traditional song and new settings of poems by Thomas Hardy, A E Housman and William Shakespeare.

‘Hilary James’ celebration of all things rustic has blossomed into a serene disc… the arrangements are a delight throughout.’
The Sunday Times * * * * (four star review)

‘… showcases her beautifully pure voice in this genuinely charming evocation of pastoral England… I find this album pretty irresistible.’
The Scotsman * * * * (four star review)

Sound clips

You Don’t Know

The new album from Hilary James – blues, swing, American folk songs, Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael – with a host of guest musicians including Simon Mayor, Brendan Power, Dave Mattacks Frank Kilkelly and many more.

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous… incredible soulful voice. Her album is playing, and suddenly the world has got a lot brighter’
Folk Wales * * * * *

‘Her latest full carat gem… [a] quite beautiful album… defies categorising other than to say she has the voice and range of an angel.’
Blues Matters

‘Beautiful… wonderful… with her great bass playing, wonderful voice and celebrated partnership with Simon Mayor she’s made some great records.’
BBC Wales

Sound clips

Songs & Chansons

The Two Sisters: Hilary James & Janet Giraudo

A pot-pourri of Parisian tangos, English folksong, baroque and popular song down the centuries.

After spending 30 years and almost 1000 miles apart in England and the south of France, The Two Sisters Hilary James and Janet Giraudo have recorded their debut album Songs & Chansons with producer and multi-instrumentalist Simon Mayor.

‘an elegant, classy delight.’ fRoots

‘diverse and delightful.’ The Living Tradition

‘a gem, exquisite harmonies… impeccably accompanied’
Salut! Live (France)

‘absolutely gorgeous debut… stunning, beautiful angel voices in heart-stopping harmony…’

Sound clips


Hilary James’ bluesy inflections are nothing new to those who have seen her in concert, but for the first time this side of her repertoire appears on CD.

‘Hilary’s bittersweet voice, which lends these melancholy blues a wonderfully dreamy, honey-dripping beauty. Lush.’
Rock ‘n’ Reel

‘This is terrific.’ * * * * Yorkshire Post

‘If you like traditional blues, you’ll like this. Guaranteed.’
Back Street Heroes

Sound clips

Laughing With The Moon

Hilary James and Simon Mayor’s studio album is a mixture of traditional and original songs and tunes, including a Playford dance, Carolan’s Concerto, heart-rending traditional ballads and lively reels.

‘This is pure joy. Simple but entrancing’
Irish Music Magazine

‘Hilary James’ vocal radiates light and beauty… an album I’ll return to again and again’
Living Tradition

Sound clips

Burning Sun

Hilary James’ debut album – newly remixed, remastered and reissued

‘Burning Sun’ reached the top ten play list on BBC Radio 2. Plays followed on BBC Radio 1, World Service and stations as far afield as Los Angeles and Latvia. A magical and atmospheric blend of folk songs and originals with haunting words and melodies. ‘Burning Sun’, includes the spell-binding folk tales of ‘The Two Sisters’ and ‘Polly Vaughan’ alongside Handel’s beautiful lament, ‘Laschia Ch’io Pianga’ sung with a bell-like purity.A magical blend of folk songs, classics and originals.

‘Elegant singing’ Daily Telegraph

‘Wonderful – every track superb. For me, the best album of the 90’s so far. Oozes class, with arrangements tailored like Saville Row suits.’
Folk North West

Sound clips

Love Lust & Loss

Hilary James’ album with the astonishing folk pianist Beryl Marriott. Exciting and dramatic versions of English, Irish and Scottish ballads, also featuring Simon Mayor (violin).

‘A powerful combination of improvisation and musical rigour’
Q Magazine

‘Exquisite..the whole thing is a total joy, a very civilised excursion into the music of the British Isles’
Dirty Linen

Sound clips


The live album from Hilary James & Simon Mayor.

‘Over (58) fretting, double-stringed minutes, give or take time off for demonstrations of similar fiddle and guitar expertise and some sweetly-sung blues, standards and folk songs from Hilary James, Simon Mayor takes the mandolin from hot-licking Texas fiddle tunes to Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba played with blurry-fingered precision.’
The Glasgow Herald
(concert review, Edinburgh Fringe Festival)

Sound clips