My Morning Jacket Mania

[BUY Circuital]

The last few weeks have brought on a pretty substantial My Morning Jacket-athon in my end of the world. I watched their entire Bonnaroo set (most of it with my 5 year old daughter, who dubbed them “My Morning Sweater” until the “Jacket” finally caught on); I caught the full 3 hour show from Louisville they recently performed for Amex’s Unstaged series; I caught their Mountain Jam set, their new VH-1 Storytellers special; and basically, I’ve been immersing myself in their new album Circuital, for which my fondness has been growing exponentially along with the temperature here in Arizona (113 degrees tomorrow, yow)…

Seeing them on their Z tour almost five years ago locked them in as one of my favorite bands- and as we’re wont to do with our favorites, we always revolve back around at points throughout our lives to a full-on listening mania. So that’s where I am right now.

Here’s a couple from the UNSTAGED gig. You can’t catch all 3 hours anymore, but they do have 30 minutes up, which I would heartily recommend.

Here’s “Smokin From Shootin” – beyond the amazing build up and powerful release that this song has, what I find cool is how Jim James can put all of his heart and soul into singing the lyrics, while simultaneously playing those sparse, meaningful guitar riffs. Fun to watch & hear…

“Wonderful (The Way I Feel)” with Daniel Martin Moore | MMJ can be one of the loudest, most ferocious rock n roll bands out there, but they can soften it up as well as anyone, and with high soft vocals of Jim James , it makes for some of the sweetest music out there (speaking of beauty, whoever didn’t see Jim (or Yim) sing “All the Best” with John Prine on Letterman, go hither too). This is beautiful, and Daniel Martin Moore’s contribution makes me want to track down some of his stuff too).

And ooh look, here’s the Mountain Jam set – fuzzy white moonboots and all…

John Prine and Jim James: “All The Best” on Letterman

I did a double take earlier this week when I noticed the music guests scheduled for Wednesday’s Letterman: John Prine with Yim Yames (Jim James) of My Morning Jacket. Much to my surprise, the song they sang is one of my all-time Prine favorites, “All The Best”, which was actually the song that turned me on to John Prine back in my college years. The song was included on the soundtrack for Falling From Grace, a 1992 movie directed by and starring John Mellencamp and written by Larry McMurtry (Prine also appears in the film). “All The Best” was also featured on Prine’s standout 1991 album, The Missing Years, which became one of my most treasured albums.

The duo were out to promote what looks to be a stellar John Prine tribute record called Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs Of John Prine. Other artists covering Prine on the album include Bon Iver, Justin Townes Earle, Conor Oberst, Drive-By Truckers, Avett Brothers and Deer Tick. If this isn’t worthy of a pre-order, I don’t know what is.

As for the performance itself, well, how can you go wrong? John and Jim trade verses, then share the last one. The low burn of John Prine’s voice coupled with Jim James’ higher register voice makes for one beautiful performance.


Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs Of John Prine (out June 22)


The Missing Years